Attorney General K.K. Venugopal has refused to give his nod for contempt proceedings against actress Swara Bhaskar for her comments made at a panel discussion held in February.
Attorney General Venugopal said, “The statement in the first part appears to be a factual one and is a perception of the speaker. The comment refers to the judgment of the Supreme Court and is not an attack on the institution. This does not offer any comment on the Supreme Court itself or say anything that would scandalise or tend to scandalise, or lower or tend to lower the authority of the Court. In my opinion, this statement does not constitute criminal contempt.”
The AG has added that the statement made by Bhaskar, where she had said: “We are now in a situation where courts are not sure whether they believe in the Constitution”, is a vague statement and not related to particular any court, and is something which is so general that no one would take any serious note of it. “I don’t think that this is a case where the offence of scandalising the court or lowering the authority of the court would arise.”
A petition was filed by Karnataka resident Usha Shetty before the Attorney General of India, seeking his consent to initiate criminal contempt proceedings against the actress for allegedly “scandalising” the Supreme Court following the Ayodhya verdict. The statements had been made by Bhaskar at a panel discussion organised by the non-governmental organisation, Mumbai Collective, in February.
According to the petition by Shetty, Bhaskar had said: “We are living in a country where the Supreme Court of our country states that the demolition of Babri Masjid was unlawful and in the same judgment rewards the same people who brought down the mosque.”
The petitioner has now approached the SolicitorGeneral, Tushar Mehta, for permission, contending that the petitioner differs with the reasoning given by AG Venugopal.