[READ LETTER] Attorney General Refuses to give consent for initiating Contempt against Swara Bhaskar

Anuj Saxena, an advocate by means of his email dated 18.08.2020 sough consent of Attorney General of India for initiation of Criminal Contempt proceedings against Ms. Swara Bhaskar. Mr Anuj Saxena contended that Ms. Swara Bhaskar has committed criminal contempt of Supreme Court by giving following statements:

“We are living in a country where the Supreme Court of our country states that the demolition of Babri masjid was unlawful and in the same judgment rewards the same people who brought down the mosque.”

“We are ruled by a government that doesn’t believe in our Constitution we are ruled by police forces that do not believe in the constitution it seems we are now in a situation where our courts are not sure whether they believe in the constitution or not what then do we do and it seems to me that as everyone has said that path is clear to us and it has been shown to us by you all whoever of you all have been part of the protest by the students by the women and by the citizen protestors it is to resist”

Mr. K.K. Venugopal, A.G., observed:

The statement in the first part appears to be a factual one, and is a perception of the speaker. The comment refers to the judgment of the Supreme Court, and is not an attack on the institution. This does not offer any comment on the Supreme Court itself or say anything that would scandalise or tend to scandalise, or lower or tend to lower the authority of the Supreme Court. In my opinion, this statement does not constitute criminal contempt.

The second statement that “… we are now in a situation where our courts are not sure whether they believe in the Constitution or not…” is a vague statement not related to any particular Court, and something which is so general that no one would take any serious note of this statement [See R v. Koptyo (1987) 39 CCC (3d) 1]. 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 Ms. Swara Bhaskar.

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