The Supreme Court on Friday held lawyer Prashant Bhushan guilty of contempt of court for his tweets which were deemed derogatory to the Chief Justice of India (CJI) and his four predecessors. The court will hear arguments on 20 August to decide on punishment, which can go up to six months in jail, or fine, or both.
The SC ruled, “Summary jurisdiction of this Court is required to be exercised not to vindicate the dignity and honour of the individual judge, who is personally attacked or scandalised, but to uphold the majesty of the law and of the administration of justice. The foundation of the judiciary is the trust and the confidence of the people in its ability to deliver fearless and impartial justice. When the foundation itself is sought to be shaken by acts which tend to create disaffection and disrespect for the authority of the court by creating distrust in its working, the edifice of the judicial system gets eroded. The scurrilous/malicious attacks by the alleged contemnor Prashant Bhushan are not only against one or two judges but the entire Supreme Court in its functioning of the last six years. Such an attack which tends to create disaffection and disrespect for the authority of this Court cannot be ignored.”
The SC also said, “The tweets which are based on the distorted facts, in our considered view, amount to committing of ‘criminal contempt’. In the result, we hold alleged contemnor Prashant Bhushan guilty of having committed criminal contempt of this Court.”
On 5 August, the apex court had reserved its verdict in the case after Bhushan had defended his two tweets, saying they were against the judges regarding their conduct in their personal capacity and they did not obstruct administration of justice.
Earlier, on 22 July, the SC had issued a notice to him. The court has asked Prashant Bhushan to explain the tweets “undermining the dignity and authority of the Supreme Court in general and the office of the Chief Justice of India in particular”.
In his reply to the Court by a 142-page detailed affidavit, Bhushan had stated that expression of bona fide opinion about the Court cannot amount to contempt. He submitted that there were several shortcomings in the functioning of the judiciary, which warranted criticism.
Bhushan, in his affidavit, regretted saying Bobde was not wearing a helmet. He added that he had failed to notice the bike was stationary and that the CJI was not riding but merely sitting on it.
Mehak Maheshwari, a Gwalior-based lawyer, filed a contempt petition against Prashant Bhushan which was converted into suo motu criminal contempt.
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“Rahul Gandhi is not fit for politics”: Assam CM
Assam’s chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma in an interview has slammed Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. He said that Rahul doesn’t have ‘a systematic sense of seriousness’ and therefore, ‘is not fit for politics’. Sharma was a member of the Congress party for over two decades and later he joined BJP in 2015.
He accused Rahul Gandhi of being non-serious as a politician, behaving like “a feudal lord” and being arrogant.
“The first thing is he is not fit for politics. Probably, the work he should not do, he is doing,” Sarma said.
He said that Rahul Gandhi would sometimes leave a meeting in between and would go for his exercise routine like jogging or suddenly go to another room and came after half an hour.
According to Sarma, Rahul Gandhi, who is currently on the Bharat Jodo Yatra from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, has accepted moral responsibility for the party’s loss in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and for his defeat in Amethi. He has resigned as party president but is still making important decisions for the party, Sarma said.
“I won’t be the president since Rahul accepted moral responsibility for the party’s defeat in the Lok Sabha elections when I was party leader. But who is currently in charge of the party and heading the Bharat Jodo Yatra? Who is the entire party pursuing? You wish to exercise authority without being held accountable, in other words. The most dangerous thing in a democracy is when someone seeks to exercise power without being held accountable by the people, the parties, or the parliamentary process “said he.
“Despite not being the president of Congress, you make all the choices. Why is the entire party supporting you now if you are not the Congress president and have not accepted moral responsibility since losing the election? “He added.
“The day you join Congress…the Congress has an inside culture that your life starts and ends with Gandhi(s). Like you get attached to any guru, you just surrender everything to that guru. There is an atmosphere. I don’t know who started this, which will end but this ecosystem is very strong in Congress.” he added.
Sarma also said that a lot of people will come to the BJP from Congress.
“So-called Aam Aadmi”, Congress leader rips apart Bhagwant Mann over 42 car convoy
Punjab Congress’s Pratap Singh Bajwa ripped apart CM Bhagwant Mann on Friday over the ‘VIP culture claims. The RTI query said that the Aam Aadmi leader had 42 vehicles in his convoy while travelling.
“Shocking revelation…” Bajwa tweeted, “Badal had 33 vehicles when he was CM from 2007-17 in his cavalcade… no change when Captain Amarinder S became CM but it has been revealed through RTI that CM Mann – ‘the so-called Aam Aadmi’ – has 42 cars in his cavalcade.”
“In the past, Mr Mann used to question what ‘kings and maharajas’ do with a convoy of so many vehicles. Will CM Mann himself clarify now what he is doing with the convoy of 42 vehicles?”
The state’s transport commissioner provided the RTI reply that covered the period from March 2007 to September.
A screenshot of the RTI response indicated Mann had more vehicles than three of his predecessors.
It showed that Charanjit Channi – who replaced Amarinder Singh as the Congress chief minister – added six cars to a convoy of 39 vehicles.
Partap Bajwa is the Leader of the Opposition in Punjab, where the AAP routed the Congress after the February election; the party won 92 of 117 seats.
Rajasthan: 8 men raped, filmed and blackmailed a 17-year-old girl, released the video
A 17-year-old girl was repeatedly gang raped by 8 men in Rajasthan’s Bhiwadi town in December last year. The accused raped, filmed and blackmailed the girl and asked for Rs. 50,000 for the video of the sexual assault. The accused then tried to blackmail her into paying Rs. 2.5 lakh and released the video when she could not pay.
A first information report (FIR) was filed on Thursday by the teenager’s father after the video, which had been in circulation for some time, reached him.
After the video reached her father, she detailed the incident to her family. In his complaint, the father said that his daughter was raped by eight young men from Bhiwadi, not far from where he lived, in December last year. They filmed the assault and blackmailed her. In January this year, she was gang raped again by the accused and then forced to pay Rs. 50,000 to keep the video a secret.
Police said the men later demanded more money. When she could not pay the Rs.2.5 lakh that they demanded, they released the video.
Police said the girl’s medical examination has been conducted.
According to the National Crime Records Bureau, Rajasthan recorded 6,337 rape cases in 2021, the highest in the country, followed next by Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. The Rajasthan Police insists that the figures for the state were higher because it doesn’t encourage burking of crime and strictly enforces a policy of free and fair registration of cases
Air India plans to introduce 20 additional weekly flights to Birmingham, London, and San Francisco
As part of the airline’s efforts to reclaim its position in international aviation, Air India plans to introduce 20 additional weekly flights to Birmingham, London, and San Francisco from October to December. Air India said in a statement, “With five additional flights a week to Birmingham, nine additional flights to London, and six additional flights a week to San Francisco, Air India will be able to offer over 5,000 additional seats every week to customers and ensure ample choice in terms of connectivity, convenience, and cabin space.”They also said in a statement, “Birmingham will receive an extra five flights per week, three from Delhi and two additional from Amritsar. London will receive nine additional weekly flights, of which, five are from Mumbai, three from Delhi, and one from Ahmedabad. Altogether, seven Indian cities will now have non-stop Air India flights to the UK’s capital.”The airlines said that flights from India to US will increase to 34-40 per week and it will connect Mumbai with San Francisco with thrice-weekly service and reinstate a three times weekly Bengaluru operation.The statement said, “This takes Air India’s San Francisco offering from 10 to 16 weekly, with non-stop service from Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru.”Air India’s chief executive officer and managing director Campbell Wilson said the airline is reinventing itself under the Vihaan.AI transformation programme and adding frequency and improving connectivity from major Indian cities to more international destinations is a significant focus.He said, “This sizeable frequency increase to the US and the UK, as well as the addition of new city pairs and improved aircraft cabin interiors, comes just 10 months after Air India’s acquisition by the Tata Group. It is a clear signal of our intent, and an early step towards a much bigger aspiration.”
Kharge on Cong prez poll: ‘Connected to Gandhi-Nehru ideology since childhood’
Senior Congress leader, Mallikarjun Kharge filed his nomination for the post of the President of Congress party at the party office in Delhi. He said he has been connected to the Gandhi-Nehru ideology since his childhood and used to campaign for the same ideology when he was in his school years.
“All leaders, workers, delegates and ministers who came in support of me today, encouraged me, I thank them. We’ll see what the results are, on October 17; hopeful that I win,” Kharge told reporters.
Kharge filed for the nomination on Friday, which is the last day for the nominations. Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Digvijaya Singh has withdrawn his name from the race for the post as he doesn’t want to contest against his senior. Rajasthan’s chief minister, Ashok Gehlot has also opted out his name from the race.
Now, Shashi Tharoor and Mallikarjun Kharge are the two main names in the contest. The names of Mukul Wasnik and Kumari Selja are also doing rounds.
Ban on the sale of gutkha, pan masala lifted by Delhi HC
The Delhi High Court has lifted the ban on the manufacturing, storage and sale of gutkha, pan masala flavoured and other such products in the capital region. The court stated that the authorities have exceeded the power vested in them.
Justice Gaurang Kanth invalidated the ban notifications that the Delhi Government’s Food Commissioner had issued between 2015 and 2021, stating that while he was aware of the detrimental effects and numerous diseases brought by tobacco use, both smokeless and smoking, but the issue of law could not be resolved solely based on public sentiments.
“In addition to the ill-effects of smokeless tobacco pointed out by the respondents, this court is of the view that tobacco, in any form is injurious to public health and this court accordingly condemns and discourages the use of any form of tobacco. Public health is one of the most important parts of society and therefore, it is necessary to take all steps to preserve the same in all possible manners,” the judge said in his ruling passed on Tuesday. The order was uploaded on the court website on Wednesday.
The judgement is a result of a batch of petitions filed by those engaged in the lawful manufacture, trade, distribution and sale of scheduled tobacco products, more particularly chewing tobacco, both flavoured and scented.
To protect the public’s health, the Delhi government issued several notifications that were contested by the petitioners. These notifications forbade the production, storage, distribution, or sale of gutka, pan masala, flavoured or scented tobacco, and similar products for a year across Delhi.
The petitioners claimed that the notifications violated their fundamental rights, were arbitrary, and went beyond the scope of the Food Safety and Standard Act (FSSA).
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