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Attorney General declines plea for contempt proceedings against Swara Bhaskar

ANI | Updated: Aug 23, 2020 22:18 IST

New Delhi [India], Aug 23 (ANI): Attorney General of India KK Venugopal declined a request to initiate contempt proceedings against actor Swara Bhaskar for her alleged derogatory statement at an event in February this year.
In a letter to the advocate, Venugopal wrote, "I am in receipt of a request for the consent for initiating action by way of criminal contempt for 'scandalising the court' against Swara Bhaskar, along with a copy of a contempt petition. I am proceeding on the basis that the statements which are extracted and referred to have actually been made by the alleged contemnor."
He said the speech given by the alleged contemnor has two different 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 judgement 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."
The statement in the first part appears to be a factual one, and is a perception of the speaker. The comment refers to the judgement of the Supreme Court and is not an attack on the institution, Venugopal stated.

"This does not offer any comment on the SC itself or say anything that would scandalise or tend to scandalise or lower or tend to lower the authority of the SC. In my opinion, this statement does not constitute criminal contempt," he added.
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.
"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 stated.
A petition was filed before Attorney General of India to procure consent under section 15 of Contempt of Courts Act 1971 read with rule 3 of Contempt proceedings of the Supreme Court 1975, for initiating criminal contempt proceedings against Bhaskar.
The petition intends to initiate criminal contempt proceedings against Swara Bhaskar for passing derogatory and scandalous statement in the context of the Supreme Court of India on 1 February 2020 at a panel discussion organised by 'Mumbai Collective'.
The petition has been filed by Advocate Anuj Saxena, Prakash Sharma, Mahek Maheshwari on behalf of Usha Shetty. (ANI)