New Delhi: The Supreme Court late on Tuesday clarified that a suo moto criminal contempt petition was inadvertently listed on its website against journalist Rajdeep Sardesai and the process was on to rectify it.
This case was registered over Sardesai’s tweets criticising the apex court’s decision against activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan last year, despite attorney general KK Venugopal denying permission to initiate contempt over the same tweets five months ago.
“This is in context with news item being flashed in some news channels about initiating suo motu criminal contempt proceeding against Mr. Rajdeep Sardesai by Supreme court, it is made clear that no such proceeding has been initiated against Mr. Rajdeep Sardesai. However status shown at Supreme Court website vide case no. SMC (Crl) 02/2021 has been placed inadvertently. Appropriate action to rectify the same is under process,” the court said in a statement.
The website showed that a petition by law student Aastha Khurana was converted into a suo motu (on its own) criminal contempt plea on February 13 and the Supreme Court registry informed Khurana’s lawyer Omprakash Ajitsingh Parihar of the development on Tuesday. No date was indicated for hearing the petition.
Parihar questioned how such an error could take place. “We received the message from the Supreme Court about the listing of our case and even the website is showing so.”
The petition filed by Khurana alleged that Sardesai’s comments will cause disrespect to the Supreme Court in the minds of citizens.
“Alleged contemnor being an Indian news anchor is a well-known personality and various people take his statement as true and correct, therefore his statement on the top judicial body of this country indicates a threat to the society which will lead to no trust on the judiciary,” the petition read.