Sharad Yadav’s writ highlights – as to how the PN Duda’s ruling in conducting contempt proceedings against Sr. Adv. Prashant Bhushan has been followed meticulously by Full Bench of Justice Arun Mishra’s Bench, whereas the smaller bench of Justice (Retd) Deepak Gupta’s bench in the contempt proceedings of Adv. Vijay Kurle, states – PN Duda’s ruling is an observation and not binding on his bench, apparently a judicial disorderliness, since the ruling of PN Duda was affirmed by Full Bench of Supreme Court in the case of Bal Thackrey V/s Harish Pimpalkhute as the rule of law, core of the PN Duda’s ruling is that in case of any contemptuous material comes to the knowledge of Supreme Court – the same has to be presented to the CJI on the administrative side, who may take cognizance and constitute an appropriate bench, exactly it so happened in the case of Prashant Bhushan – Bhushan’s tweet concerned CJI Sharad Bobde, himself he being attacked, Hon’ble CJI assigned the matter to the next senior Judge, thereafter the matter came up before the Hon’ble Bench of Justice Mishra, and the proceedings continued – vis-à-vis this, in Vijay Kurle’s matter, Justice Nariman, without even officially having the copy of complaint against him, without even being granted of the assignment, passed an order initiating contempt proceedings and seeking constitution of appropriate bench – it is on the face of it, a weird procedure adopted by Hon’ble Justice Nariman’s bench, effectually assuming the jurisdiction of Hon’ble Chief Justice, in respect of a complaint – officially copy of which never did Justice Nariman had in the first place, but shockingly more the complaint was against his ownself – so by basic legal jurisprudence, no judge can become a judge of his own case – this aberration Justice (Retd) Gupta’s bench shockingly held to be the correct position.
The Supreme Court Rules for conduct of contempt proceedings – is specific, that only the AG/SG can be sought for assistance, this specific procedural safeguard was followed in case of Bhushan but was disregarded in case of Kurle and a private counsel Siddharth Luthra came to be appointed by Justice (Retd.) Gupta’s bench, to assist the court. The petition goes on to state in case of Bhushan specifics of the charge against him was made out in the contempt-notice itself; whereas in case of Kurle & 3 others were given a ditto common notice of contempt – none of the contemnor were told what is the charge against each of them they’re to answer and repeatedly this was brought to the notice of Justice (Retd.) Gupta that in a criminal proceeding, a criminal can’t be left to guessing, what is the charge he has to defend – and the SC on multiple occasions have ruled a defective notice vitiates any subsequent proceedings, but by way of discrimination to the point of judicial disorderliness, Justice (Retd.) Gupta’s bench pursued the conviction of Vijay Kurle & two others. The discrimination against Vijay Kurle got further pronounced for Justice (Retd) Gupta’s Bench holding Adv. Kurle as a proxy of Adv. Nedumpara in browbeating the judiciary in making a complaint to the President of India & CJI seeking to terminate Nedumpara’s contempt proceedings – but oxymoron as much it can go – Nedumpara the principal charged of browbeating judiciary by way of interfering the course of justice in engaging the proxy is acquitted and Kurle the proxy gets convicted – unprecedented & unheard.
The petition also draws attention as to more than 100 civil activists, and around 1o Hon’ble (Retd.) Judges writing letter in seeking termination to Bhushan’s contempt proceedings – exactly what Kurle is charged of – by the same token of Justice (Retd) Deepak Gupta’s ruling, these Honorable persons are as much guilty of influencing the course of justice as much Kurle was charged off. And it is naïve to be consume – a lowly resourced Kurle can brow beat the judiciary, and is convicted, but more than 100 Civil Activists and more than 10 Retired Judges of Higher Judiciary are not pursued, ergo the discrimination is too apparent. Kurle’s conviction is taken up during Covid lockdown – where he is immobilised of any legal assistance and repeatedly pleaded so – Justice (Retd) Deepak Gupta brushed it aside and sentenced Kurle & two others of imprisonment, citing he was to demit office in next four days – Hon’ble Justice Gupta in a contempt case of Sameer Gehlaut, sitting alongwith Ex-CJI Sh. Ranjan Gogoi grants around two and a half months for sentencing, though in the interregnum Ex- CJI Ranjan Gogoi was to demit his office and importantly it was not a lock-down period, to have been granted such indulgence – the discrimination is stark of a lowly resourced commoner vis-à-vis the rich and powerful – certainly potent to tear off social fabric, effecting the petitioner’s fundamental rights.
The petition also refers to a pending complaint against the outrageous conduct of Senior Advocate Sunil Manohar in denigrating Supreme Court Judges and also about popular news anchor Karan Thapar who alludes the Hon’ble CJI as being hypocrite.
In sum the petitioner makes his case, that a commoner gets punished compared to the rich and powerful who are outlandish in making filthiest of statements against the Supreme Court Judges, but either is not punished or gets off lightly and more disturbing, the commoner is convicted and sentenced without even following the due process and the procedural safeguards.