After advocate Prashant Bhushan made some comments on Twitter regarding the appointment of former interim chief of CBI M Nageswara Rao, the Attorney General KK Venugopal and consecutively, the Union of India have filed a contempt petition in the Supreme Court.
Prashant Bhushan had, on February 1, 2019, had tweeted:
“Today in CBI Dir appt case, the govt made a startling new claim that M Nageswara Rao was selected as the interim director in the HPC meeting on 11th January when they decided to transfer out Alok Verma! This seems to be at variance from LOP Kharge’s version.”
He further claimed that the Govt had misled the Supreme Court by submitting fabricated minutes of High Powered Committee (HPC) meeting saying that HPC approved the appointment Seems govt gave fabricated minutes to court. He said that this was a Contempt of Court. He even claimed that he had personally confirmed this from the Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge that no discussion or decision in HPC meet was taken.
Attorney General, in his petition said that Prashant Bhushan’s tweets scandalise or tend to scandalise and lower or tend to lower the authority of this court. The plea said that the signatures of all the three members of the committee i.e. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Suprme Court judge Justice A K Sikri and Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, were affixed in the decision taken by the panel. It was also mentioned that:
“A mere reading of the said minutes would establish that the high powered committee, at the said meeting, had taken a decision to permit the Central government to post a suitable officer to look after the duties of the Director CBI till the appointment of a new Director.”
The Union of India, in it’s plea, has stated that Prashant Bhushan is:
“deliberately and willfully making false statements of a public platform with regard to a matter which is sub judice.”
The controversy relating to appointment of M Nageswara Rao as the interim CBI Director has become a high profile one as already 3 judges, including the CJI, have recused themselves from hearing the matter.