SC issues notice to Prashant Bhushan on contempt plea by AG

The Supreme Court sought a response from activist and lawyer Prashant Bhushan on contempt pleas by Attorney General K.K Venugopal and the Centre for his tweets allegedly criticising the court over the appointment of M. Nageswara Rao as interim CBI director.

Prashant was given three weeks to reply.

A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Naveen Sinha said it would deal with the larger question of whether it is open for lawyers or any other person to criticise the court in a sub judice matter which would lead to influencing public opinion.

Criticising the court may also lead to interference in the course of justice, the bench added.

"This issue required to be heard in length, notice issued," it said, listing the matter for further hearing on March 7.

Prashant, in his tweets, alleged that the Centre, represented by Venugopal, misled the apex court on the issue of Nageswara Rao's appointment.

On Tuesday, the Centre moved the apex court seeking initiation of contempt proceedings against Prashant for his tweets and said they amounted to making false statement in a pending case.

This was days after Venugopal's contempt petition against Prashant.