A three-judge Bench of the Supreme Court led by Justice Arun Mishra is scheduled to hear a suo motu case of contempt against noted civil rights lawyer Prashant Bhushan and Twitter India on July 22.
The other judges on the Bench are Justices B.R. Gavai and Krishna Murari. The subject of the contempt case has not been disclosed by the court.
Another suo motu contempt case against Mr. Bhushan, dating back to 2009, is listed for July 24 before the same combination of judges. Former Tehelka magazine editor Tarun Tejpal is a respondent party in the case with Mr. Bhushan.
The 11-year-old contempt case was initiated on the basis of an interview given by Mr. Bhushan in which he had made remarks about the presence of former Chief Justice of India S.H. Kapadia on the Forest Bench of the apex court which decided the Niyamgiri mining lease case in Odisha in favour of Sterlite Industries.
Last year, Mr. Bhushan had turned down an offer from the Supreme Court to “unconditionally apologise” to a Bench led by Justice Mishra during contempt proceedings in connection with his February 1, 2019 tweets claiming that the government misled the apex court about the appointment of M. Nageshwar Rao as interim CBI Director. Mr. Bhushan said the tweets were a “genuine mistake.”
Justice Mishra had then said that if a lawyer had grievances with the administration of justice by a court, he ought to return to the court with his queries rather than voice them in the media.
“This is troubling all of us as an institution. This is happening in all cases of importance. Motives are attributed to judges,” Justice Mishra had observed.