The Supreme Court on Thursday asked Attorney General KK Venugopal to assist the court in the 2009 contempt case against Advocate Prashant Bhushan for his remarks in the Tehelka magazine. A bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and Sanjiv Khanna directed that the case record of the 2009 contempt case should be sent to AG.
Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, representing Bhushan, submitted before the bench that in the previous hearing the AG had shown an inclination to assist the court in the matter, and thus he should be impleaded as an amicus curiae.
The bench replied that the AG would be impleaded in the case in accordance with Rule 10 of the Supreme Court Rules, and the decision to appoint him as an amicus curiae in the matter will be taken later.
Dhavan contended before the bench there are more questions of law, which should be framed in the case, as 10 questions have already been framed. He added that the court wanted to add three more. After a brief hearing on the matter, the bench said it will take up the case in the week commencing from October 12.
On August 25, Justice Arun Mishra had directed that the case be placed before another bench, as he was days away from the demitting office. The Supreme Court had observed that it is not a question of punishment only, it is a question of faith in the institution.
A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra had told Dhavan that he must ponder that people come to court for relief, and when that faith is shaken then there is a problem.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for journalist Tarun Tejpal, contended before the bench that people come to court for justice and relief. “We will come and go but the institution exists forever. We must protect the integrity of the institution,” Sibal had submitted.
The bench had then said the matter to be listed on September 10 before an appropriate bench by the Chief Justice. “I am short of time. I am demitting office,” Justice Mishra had observed, who retired on September 2.
(With agency inputs)
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