New Delhi: The Supreme Court today said it will consider on March 25 the plea for taking suo motu cognizance of contempt action against noted advocate Prashant Bhushan who was issued with a notice for allegedly casting aspersions on a senior apex court judge and previous chief justices of India.However, before a three-judge Bench headed by justice Altamas Kabir fixed the date, senior advocate Ram Jethmalani, appearing for Bhushan, said there was a danger in proceeding with contempt proceedings.
“Upholding the dignity of the court should be the first priority of the court. This proceeding will damage the dignity of the court and institution rather than restoring it,” he told the Bench also comprising justices Cyriac Joseph and HL Dattu. Senior advocate Harish Salve, who had moved the application for the Court to initiate suo motu contempt against Bhushan, wanted the Bench to relieve him of the duty of amicus curaie on the ground that several allegations have been made against him by the alleged contemnor.
Salve said that in the counter-affidavit, Bhushan has made personal allegations against him and as such he had not responded to them and was seeking the court’s permission to relieve him from the duty of amicus curaie in the matter. However, the Bench persuaded him to continue saying the personal allegations against him should not come in the way when the matter relates the dignity of an institution. “We need your assistance as it is an issue about the dignity of the institution,” the Bench said.