Supreme Court to hear on merits if Prashant Bhushan’s remarks on judicial ‘corruption’ amounts to contempt

A file picture of Prashant Bhushan. | Photo Credit: Sandeep Saxena
Krishnadas Rajagopal NEW DELHI: 10 August 2020 12:31 IST
Updated: 10 August 2020 23:31 IST

Tehelka magazine editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal is a co-respondent with the civil rights lawyer in the contempt case

The Supreme Court on Monday decided to hear on merits whether remarks made by noted civil rights lawyer Prashant Bhushan on judicial “corruption” in a Tehelka interview in 2009 amounts to “per se contempt”.

Also read: Supreme Court issues notice to Prashant Bhushan over tweets

A Bench led by Justice Arun Mishra listed the case for hearing on August 17. Mr. Bhushan, his father and senior advocate Shanti Bhushan and their lawyer, Rajeev Dhavan, were visible on the screen showing the pronouncement of the interim decision of the virtual court.


On August 4, after an almost day-long hearing held away from the public eye, the Bench had said it would hear the case if “we do not accept the explanation/apology” of Mr. Bhushan.

Also Read | Scandalising as contempt: On proceedings against Prashant Bhushan

Tehelka magazine editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal is a co-respondent with Mr. Bhushan in the contempt case.

A communication released by Mr. Bhushan’s office said the hearing on August 4 took place over WhatsApp call.

It said Mr. Bhushan had refused to apologise and said the word “corruption” was used in the interview in a wide sense to mean “lack of propriety”. He had not meant the judiciary was financially corrupt.

Also read: Expression of opinion or anguish is not contempt amounting to scandalising the court: Prashant Bhushan tells SC

Mr. Bhushan had said that the remarks were not meant to hurt judges’ families or tarnish the judiciary.

The writ petition N. Ram Vs Union of India challenging the 'scandalising of court' as a ground for contempt has been listed before a Bench headed by J. Arun Mishra on August 13.