Attorney General KK Venugopal on Monday filed a contempt petition in the Supreme Court against lawyer Prashant Bhushan for allegedly scandalising the court with his tweets on the turmoil in the Central Bureau of Investigation, Live Law reported.
The plea refers to the lawyer’s tweets, dated February 1, in which he accused the Centre of misleading the top court regarding the appointment of the CBI’s former interim chief M Nageswara Rao. Bhushan had even hinted at the possibility of the government submitting fabricated minutes of the meeting of a committee headed by the prime minister that was tasked with appointing the agency’s director.
Venugopal had submitted the minutes in a sealed cover to the bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra. The attorney general accused Bhushan, who had moved the Supreme Court challenging Rao’s appointment, of intentionally raising doubts about his integrity and honesty.
On February 1, Bhushan shared a letter written by Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge to the Public Accounts Committee about Rao’s appointment. The lawyer had claimed that the Centre had circumvented the procedure to appoint the former interim CBI chief. “Yet the government produced minutes of the meeting saying that high powered committee approved the appointment,” Bhushan had tweeted. “It seems the government fabricated minutes to the court! Contempt of Court!”
On February 2, Kharge also objected to the appointment of former Madhya Pradesh Police chief Rishi Kumar Shukla as the new CBI chief, and reportedly said in a dissent note to Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the officer lacks experience in working in anti-corruption investigations. Shukla took charge of the investigating agency on Monday.