New Delhi: A resident of Karnataka has approached the Attorney General of India, seeking his approval under the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, and Supreme Court rules for initiating criminal contempt proceedings against Bollywood actor Swara Bhaskar.According to petitioner Usha Shetty, Bhaskar had participated in a conference — “Artists against communalism” — in February 2020, where she made a statement that “scandalised” the court. Bhaskar, as quoted in the petition, said, “…Courts are not sure if they believe in the Constitution.”
Shetty’s petition also quotes Bhasker as having said, “We are living in a country where the SC states in a judgment that demolition of Babri Masjid was unlawful and in the same judgement rewards the same people who brought down the mosque.
“We are now in a situation where our courts are not sure whether they believe in the Constitution or not…What then do we do and it seems to me that as everyone has said that the path is clear to us and it has been shown to us by you all whoever of you all have been part of the protest by students by the women and by the citizen protestors it is to resist…”
Shetty’s lawyer Mahek Maheshwari told ThePrint that the petition was filed with the AG in accordance with the SC rules and the law.
“The top law officer’s consent is needed for the court to hear a criminal contempt petition,” Maheshwari said.
Maheshwari had also filed a petition against advocate Prashant Bhushan for his tweet against the present and former CJIs. However, he had not got the AG’s approval then. Yet, the petition was listed in the open court for a hearing after it was allowed on the administrative side.
Shetty has alleged in her petition that the statements were not only a “cheap stunt of publicity” but also a deliberate attempt to turn masses to revolt against the top court.
“The alleged contemnor statements intends to incite feeling of no-confidence amongst the public with respect to the proceedings of the Hon’ble Court and integrity of the Hon’ble Judges of the Apex Court of India”, the petition stated.