Prashant Bhushan 2009 Contempt Case: SC asks CJI to refer it to appropriate bench, defers hearing

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday deferred the hearing on a 2009 contempt of court case against senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan and asked the Chief Justice of India to place before an "appropriate" bench questions arising out of the matter.

A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra deferred the hearing in the case to September 10 as the Supreme Court judge is scheduled to demit office on September 2. "The matter would be decided and heard by the CJI on September 10, and he will decide as to another bench will hear the matter or not," Justice Mishra said.

Senior advocate Rajeev Dhawan, appearing for Prahsant Bhushan, said that a notice has to go to the Attorney General in the case. "If Attorney General is not heard in this case, constitutional questions can not be considered. Your lordships have framed some questions, we have framed also certain questions. This issue needs to go to a Constitution bench," Dhawan said. Justice Mishra, leading the bench, said that whether this can be done in a suo motu case is a question.

"I am short of time because I am demitting office. This requires detailed hearing of 4/5 hours," Justice Mishra said, to which Dhawan said, "if your lordship are going to consider the issue then it can be done." Prashant Bhushan is facing a 2009 contempt of court proceeding for his alleged remark accusing half of all the former Chief Justices of India (CJIs) of corruption.

Notably, Bhushan was recently held guilty of contempt of court by the Supreme Court for two of his tweets, the first one posted on June 29, related to his comment/post on a picture of CJI Bobde on a high-end bike. In his second tweet, Bhushan expressed his opinion on the role of last four CJIs amid the state of affairs in the country.

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