AG Venugopal refuses his consent to file a contempt plea against Swara Bhaskar; Says ‘There’s no attack on SC’

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AG Venugopal refuses his consent to file a contempt plea against Swara Bhaskar; Says ‘There’s no attack on SC’
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K K Venugopal, the Attorney General refuses his consent for initiating a contempt petition against Swara Bhaskar for her supposedly “derogatory and scandalous” against the Supreme Court against the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case verdict. Under the Contempt of Court Act, 1971, either AG or the Solicitor General’s consent is needed to initiate a contempt proceeding against a person. Lawyer Anuj Saxena had requested the consent of the Attorney General in order to initiate the contempt action against Swara Bhaskar. 

AG Venugopal opened up to Times of India and said, “I declined consent as there is no attack on the Supreme Court. It is mere innuendo. Initiating contempt proceedings would mean giving more credence to her statement, which is not needed.” Earlier on August 21, Venugopal himself sent a letter to Saxena on August 21 and in that stated that the actor’s statement wherein two paragraphs appear to be factual and is also a perception of the speaker. 

“I do not think that this is a case where the offence of scandalising the court or lowering the authority of the court would arise. I, therefore, decline consent to initiate contempt proceedings against Swara Bhaskar,” Venugopal said in the letter reported Hindustan Times. Prior to this Venugopal himself initiated contempt proceedings against Bhushan for accusing the government of forging documents in the CBI director’s appointment. But later, he sought the withdrawal after he regretted that the mistake was on his part and withdrew the allegations. 

When it came to the petition against Swara Bhaskar, Venugopal shared, “The Supreme Court need not be extra sensitive. If we start contempt proceedings, it unnecessarily gives publicity to the wrong remarks. In this case, her ire was more against the government and the comments against the SC were mere innuendoes. I do not want the Supreme Court to be embroiled in another controversy when one (against Bhushan) is already attracting a lot of adverse public reaction,” TOI reported. 

“The Supreme Court should not be jumping to conclusions about someone scandalising the court and drawing up contempt proceedings when foreign jurisdictions have gradually discarded contempt for scandalising the courts through mere criticism,” Venugopal continued. Saxena and a few others alleged that Swara Bhaskar made statements at a panel discussion that was held n February 1, 2020 that was organised by the Mumbai Collective. 

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