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Facing contempt proceedings, Prashant Bhushan defends remarks

New Delhi, Feb 5 (IANS) Facing contempt of court for his “scandalous” tweets against the Centre over the appointment of M. Nageshwar Rao as interim Director of the CBI, advocate Prashant Bhushan on Tuesday defended his assertions.

The contempt of court petitions have been separately filed by Attorney General K.K. Venugopal and the Centre over Bhushan’s claims in Twitter that Narendra Modi-led government “misled” the court.

One of the grounds to challenge the appointment was that it was made without the consent of the High-Powered Committee (HPC) comprising the Prime Minister, Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge.

While Venugopal submitted before an apex court bench that Rao’s appointment was discussed and approved by the HPC, Bhushan in Twitter contested the claim citing Kharge who participated in the panel meetings.

“I have just confirmed personally from the Leader of Opposition Mr Kharge that no discussion or decision in HPC meet was taken on re appt (reappointment) of Nageswara Rao as interim Director CBI. The government appears to have misled the court and perhaps submitted fabricated minutes of the HPC meeting!” Bhushan had tweeted on February 1.

Talking about the contempt petitions, Bhushan reiterated that he made the assertions after twice confirming from Kharge.

“I made the remarks after twice confirming it from Kharge who said that the reappointment of Rao was not discussed in the meeting. The Centre told the court that the issue was discussed in the meeting and gave the minutes of the meeting in sealed cover which was not shared with us.

“Kharge twice confirmed me that Rao’s reappointment was not discussed in the meetings.”

The petitions contend that Bhushan’s posts tantamount to “interfering with and obstructing the administration of justice and attack on the Attorney General in such a brazen, wilful and malicious manner would tend to shake the very foundation of the justice delivery system.”

The petitions are scheduled to be heard on Wednesday.




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