Prashant Bhushan, Arun Shourie, N Ram move SC challenging contempt of court act; say it's 'rooted in colonial assumptions'

In a new development, N Ram of the Hindu, former BJP leader Arun Shourie, and Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan have moved the apex court challenging the ‘constitutional validity’ of criminal contempt on grounds of ‘scandalising the court’ under Section 2(c)(i) of the Contempt of Court Act, Live Law reported

Deeming the section as ‘unconstitutional’, the petition argues that the sub-section violates Article 19(i) of the Constitution of India, as it is incompatible with preambular values and basic features of the Constitution.

Earlier, contempt proceedings had been filed against Bhushan and Twitter India for two tweets that have criticised the apex court.

The first tweet has claimed that the four previous Chief Justices of India each played a role in destroying democracy in the country for the past six years.

The second tweet accused Chief Justice SA Bobde of riding a motorcycle without a helmet or a face mask during the pandemic. The picture of the Chief Justice was shared on social media last month where he was seen riding a Harley Davidson.

The contempt case was filed by Supreme Court advocate Mehek Maheshwari, who tweeted, “The Contempt Petition against Adv Prashant Bhushan is filed my me as he made very inhuman remarks against our CJI Bobde of which Hon'ble Supreme Court took suo moto Cognizance.”

The application also alleged that the tweet was a "cheap publicity stunt" with an attempt to "spread hatred in the form of anti-India campaign."Meanwhile action against Twitter has been sought as it did not ‘block the tweet’.

Shourie had faced contempt proceedings after writing an editorial criticising former Supreme Court judge Justice Kuldeep Singh. Similarly, N Ram had faced contempt proceedings in the Kerala HC after a publication of court proceedings in the Kollam Hooch tragedy.

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