Attorney General of India KK Venugopal has declined to give his approval in a plea seeking the initiation of criminal contempt of court proceedings against actress Swara Bhaskar for a panel discussion held in February on the Ayodhya land dispute case. He stated that the comments made by her are the factual ones are based on a perception of a speaker. According to the AG, the comment referred to the judgement of the apex court and is not an attack on the institution.
The petitioner claimed that the actress has made “derogatory and scandalous” comments against the Supreme Court in her speech. Petitioner Usha Shetty along with advocates Anuj Saxena, Prakash Sharma and Mahek Maheshwari stated that these statements intended to incite a lack of confidence in the judiciary among the people and that these question the integrity of the court. Thus, they amount to criminal contempt of court proceedings under “scandalising the court” category.
After the refusal by the AG, the petitioners have moved to Solicitor General, Tushar Mehta for permission, arguing that the petitioner differs from AG Venugopal’s reasoning.
AG had also added that the statement was given by the actress, “We are now in a situation where our courts are not sure whether they believe in the constitution” is very vague and is generally said which no one would pay head-on.