SC extends protection to TV anchor from any coercive action

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Thursday extended the protection from any coercive action till next date of hearing to TV news anchor Amish Devgan in connection with the cases lodged over his alleged defamatory remark against Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti during a show telecast on June 15.

The new FIR, which was initially lodged at Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh, has now been transferred to Noida in Uttar Pradesh and accordingly an amended petition would be filed by the news anchor, said senior lawyer Siddharth Luthra and advocate Mrinal Bharti.

Tweets: Bhushan seeks to present more proof

New Delhi: A day after the Supreme Court reserved its verdict, activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan Thursday moved a plea seeking to present additional evidence if the court is not satisfied with his submissions that the contempt was not made out against him for his two tweets allegedly against judiciary.

A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra, which on July 22, had issued show cause notice to Bhushan after initiating the criminal contempt against him for his two alleged derogatory tweets against the judiciary, had reserved the verdict on Wednesday.

Senior advocate Dushyant Dave defended Bhushan before the bench, which also comprised Justices R Gavai and Krishan Murari, and had said on Wednesday that the tweets were against the judges regarding their conduct in their personal capacity and did not obstruct administration of justice.

In the fresh plea, filed through lawyer Kamini Jaiswal on Thursday, Bhushan said, "In case the court is not satisfied by my preliminary reply and wishes to proceed further in the matter allow me to lead further evidence u/s 17(5) of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, after supplying copy of the complaint by Mehak Maheshwari to me..." Referring to judgements in support of the plea, Bhushan said he had earlier submitted a preliminary reply to explain his tweets and the law laid down on the issue to highlight that the contempt notice was not sustainable.

The plea said the second tweet was not allegedly referred to in the contempt petition filed by Maheshwari and hence, it be sent to the Chief Justice S A Bobde for placing it before a bench.

"Direct that proceedings as regards the suo motu notice issued to me with respect to tweet of June 27, be placed before the Chief Justice of India for allocation of bench as per Para 39 of Vijay Kurle...," the plea said.

K'taka HC restrains Centre from publishing EIA 2020 final notification

Bengaluru: The Karnataka High Court has directed the Centre not to publish the final notification of the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) 2020 till September 7, observing that the draft was not publicised in vernacular languages. The petitioner sought extension of time to file objections to the draft notification, published in English and Hindi, till December 31.

The Ministry of Environment and Forest had initially given two months time to the public to file their objections after publishing the draft on March 23, but due to the coronavirus induced lockdown the last date was extended till August 11.

The court noted that due to the lockdown many people who are unable to read English or Hindi may not have responded to it and due to the recent shutdown the information may not have reached people.

It, however, granted liberty to the Ministry to file an application for vacating the stay once the orders are compiled with.

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