Adv Prashant Bhushan’s tweets and Adv Nilesh Ojha’s articles are not contemptuous
Adv Prashant Bhushan’s tweets and Adv Nilesh Ojha’s articles supporting Jaganmohan Reddy’s complaint and demanding investigation against Justice N.V. Ramanna is not a case for contempt.
Timing of sending letter by Jaganmohan Reddy is wrong but since letter is subjudice before
Chief Justice of India therefore it is not proper to comment.
Thus stated Attorney
General K.K. Venugopal in his letter refusing to grant consent for initiating criminal contempt against Shri Jaganmohan Reddy, A
Therefore, sending a complaint against Supreme Court Judges and publishing articles supporting CM Jaganmohan Reddy's demand of investigation against Justice Ramanna is not found to be a contempt.
letter dated 2nd Nov 2020 sent by Shri Venugopal to the petitioner
Mursalin Shaikh reads thus;
“ Having examined the tweets published by Sh. Prashant bhushan on his tweeter page and the statements attributed to Sh. Nilesh ojha, I do not find that the tweets or the statements warrant initiation of action for criminal contempt of the Supreme Court of India ”
Petition which is to be filed in the Supreme Court had made a grievance against
the three as under;
Jaganmohan Reddy is guilty of contempt for sending the complaint as no one can send
complaint against Supreme Court Judges in view of Re: Vijay Kurle’s case;
Nilesh Ojha, National President of ‘Indian Bar Association’ is also co accused
as he published an article justifying the act of Jaganmohan Reddy saying that
making complaint against judges of Supreme court is permissible as per ‘In –House
–Procedure’ and making it public is for public good as per various judgments of
the Supreme court. He also criticized the other members of Bar saying that when
matter is subjudice before Hon’ble CJI then their request for contempt is
showing servile nature as no investiuation is done in the complaint;
Bhushan is also guilty of publishing views on two tweets demanding
investigation against Justice N. V. Ramanna.
said request is rejected by the Attorney General.
The relevant paras of contempt petition of Mursalin
Shaikh reads thus;
6. The Respondent No. 2 Adv.
Prashant Bhushan also posted his views in support of Respondent No. 1
Jaganmohan Reddy. The tweet dated 10.10.2020 of Adv. Prashant Bhushan reads
“ When a CM makes serious charges of corruption against a
senior judge slated to become the next CJI to the present CJI, it needs a
quick, independent & credible investigation, by 3 retired judges of the SC.
No point in saying that CM is corrupt or that he should not make this public”
“ 7. The Respondent No. 3 Adv.
Nilesh Ojha who is National President of Indian Bar Association, on 16.10.2020 had
advocated the act of Respondent No. 1 in his article saying that as per earlier judgments of the
Supreme Court the Respondent no. 1 was justified in making complaint to the
Chief Justice and it is in public interest that the truth should be published.
8. It is further view of Respondent
No.3 in his article as under;
“The sum and substance of the above
judgments is that;
When any person is having sound proofs then he is duty bound to
bring it to the authority empowered to take action against such person. By
making complaints Shri Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy performed his constitutional duty
as enschrigned in Art. 51(A) h of the constitution as ruled in the case of R.K. Jain (2010) 8 SCC 281
Much harm is done by the myth that,
merely by taking the oath of office as a
judge, a man ceases to be human and strips himself of all predilections,
becomes a passionless thinking machine and he will not indulge in corrupt
practices.[ Davinder Pal Singh
Bhullar's case (2011) 14 SCC 770]
There are many cases where Judges of Supreme Court and High Courts
are found to be involved in corruption and misused their position for giving
undue favor to undeserving person and denying reliefs to the deserving one.
Some are prosecuted and some managed to save them by doing further corruption.
There is no protection available to a judge of Supreme Court and
High Court if he commits serious criminal offences by misusing his position as a
Judge.[ K. Veeraswami K. Veeraswami
Vs. Union of India (1991) 3 SCC 655]
Contempt petition against a High Court or Supreme Court Judge can
be filed before Supreme Court and Court is bound to examine it. [Re: C.S. Karnan (2017) 7 SCC 1]
When any person is having sound proofs then he is duty bound to
make it public so that
(a) the people with similar greviences may also
be encouraged to come forward;
(b) it will create deterrence in the mind of said
further injustice and corruption of the said tainted Judge be stopped,
prevented or at least the ‘coterie’ should be on backfoot (d) the vigilant
citizens may give their proofs;
(e ) It will develop the accuemen of the
citizens to analyze the modus oprandi of both i.e. the Corrupt judges and the
disgruntled people making baseless allegations.[Bathina Ramakrishna Reddy AIR 1952 SC 149 Subramanyam Swamy (2014) 12 SCC 344, Aniruddha Bahal 2010 (119) DRJ 102, Bramha Prakash Sharma AIR 1954 SC 10, Baradkanta Mishra (1974)
1 SCC 374, Lalith Kalitha 2008 (1) GLT 800]
If a particular judge
or magistrate is corrupt and sells justice, then a bona fide complaint to
higher authorities to take necessary action against the delinquent judicial
officer is also an act to maintain the purity of the administration of justice,
for it is unthinkable that a judicial officer should be allowed to take bribes
and if anybody makes a grievance of the matter to the higher authorities, he
should be hauled up for contempt of Court.
[Rama Surat Singh Vs. Shiv Kumar Pandey 1969 SCC OnLine All 226, Harihar Shukla 1976
Cr.L.J. 507, Ram Piarra comrade 1972 SCC OnLine P&H 277, Baradkanta Mishra (1974)
1 SCC 374 ]
The person making a complaint against a Judge can use the word ‘corrupt
motive and malafide intention’ against a Judge and it does not amount to
scandalous pleadings. [Ram Piarra
comrade 1972 SCC OnLine P&H 277, R.K. Jain (2010) 8 SCC 281, Lalith Kalitha 2008 (1) GLT 800]
In such situations the members of the Bar
are expected to adopt the judicial approach and insist for investigation
and to bring the truth to the surface. The members of the Bar
will be failing in their duties laid
down by Full Bench of Supreme Court in Maria Margarida Sequeria Fernandes and Ors v. Erasmo Jack de
Sequeria, AIR 2012 SC1727, where it is ruled that in the administration
of justice, Judges and Lawyers play equal roles. Like judges, lawyers also must
ensure that truth triumphs in the administration of justice it must be the
endeavor of all the Judges to ascertain truth in every matter and no stone
should be left unturned in achieving this object.
It is the duty of the lawyer to expose corrupt Judges. In the case
of R. Muthukrishnan Vs. The
Registrar General Of The High Court AIR 2019 SC 849 , ruled that it is the duty of the Bar to protect honest
judges and at the same time to ensure that corrupt judges are not spared;
The members of Bar should
avoid to make any comments which reflect their sycophant and servile conduct
and people will feel that it is a sponsored act at the behest of
corrupt/tainted Judges. The sycophancy of the members of the Bar will bring the
name of Noble Profession in to disrepute.
The members of the Bar and anyone
who has filed contempt petition against Shri Jaganmohan Reddy and those
who are willing to prosecute him under contempt without anything to counter
the proofs given by Shri Jaganmohan, are guilty of judicial impropriety because
the Hon’ble CJI is seized of the matter and if Hon’ble CJI don’t find it
contemptuous then the other bench can not take cognizance of the contempt.
on its Own Motion Vs. DSP Jayant Kashmiri 2017 SCC OnLine Del
They should need to be
prosecuted under section 211,192,193,120(B), 34 of IPC in view of law
laid down in Hari Dass Vs.
State AIR 1964 SC 1773.
Such frivolous petition without any proof if filed by anyone be dismissed with heavy cost as ruled in R.K. Jain (2010) 8 SCC 281.Such members of Bar
should also be expelled from the roll by the respective Bar Council. ”
9. Respondent no. 3 further quoted that Hon’ble
Supreme Court in the case of O. P. Sharma Vs. High Court of Punjab &
Haryana (2011) 6 SCC 86 has ruled that,
“As per section-I of Chapter-II,
part VI title “standards of professional conduct and etiquette” of the
Bar Council India rules specifies the duties of an advocate that ‘he shall not
be servile and whenever there is proper ground for serious complaint against
Judicial officer, it shall be his right and duty to submit his grievance to
The excerpts from from the book ‘The
Law of Contempt’ by LexisNexis Borrie & Lowe, are relevant here.
It reads thus;
“The interest of an efficient judiciary call for a strong
and efficient bar, independent in outlook and not afraid to respectfully
and boldly present the controversy in question. A sycophantic bar acting as an ‘Yes-man’ to the fulmination of
an erring judge will only make the judge err more. A
pampered judge will most likely stray away from the path of true justice.
An opposite view strongly advanced by counsel helps the judge think over
the pros and cons of a matter and come to a right decision. A weak bar is
the greatest enemy to the administration of justice, Weak counsel to an
overpowering judge is neither an asset to the profession nor to the
interests of justice. In fact a weak and subservient counsel is the
enemy of a judge’s personal progress. A seemingly hostile but
robust advocate is the best benefactor to a judge who is ambitious
of a bright carrier. The judge is
gradually drawn to develop his intellectual poise and acumen, egged on as
it were by combating counsel. A languishing bar is the surest sign
of the decadence of the judiciary”
10. That all the above judgments relied by Respondent No. 3 are old laws and the law now made applicable is the law laid down in Re: Vijay Kurle 2020 SCC OnLine 407. Where it is ruled as under;
“67. We also fail to understand how Shri Vijay Kurle who is a lawyer claims that it is his fundamental right to initiate criminal proceedings against Judges. Some members of the Bar cannot hold the judiciary to ransom by threatening Judges of initiating criminal action. ..”
The act of respondent No. 2 and 3 is nothing but to instigate the common
people and members of the Bar to lodge complaint against Judges of the Higher
Judiciary. Terming it to be their right. Respondent no. 3 is going to propogate
the wrong position of law.
No one is entitled to make a
complaint of corruption against Judges. ”
However the above stand of the petitioner is not accepted by the Attorney General.
2-11-2020 Download Now
Petition by Mursalin Shaikh
19-10-2020 Download Now