The Attorney General of India has rejected permission to a suggestion to file a contempt plea against actor Swara Bhaskar for comments on the Apex Court’s verdict in the Babri Masjid and Ayodhya land dispute case; the comments have been described by way of the petitioner as “derogatory”, “scandalous” and an “attack on the institution”.
KK Venugopal, teh Attorney General of India stated the comment was the ” perception of the speaker” and did not “offer any comment on the Apex Court itself or say something that would sacndalise or have a tendency to scandalise… the authority of the Supreme Court. He also stated that ” In my opinion, this statement does not constitute criminal contempt.
The statement was made in Mumbai, and written out in the Attorney General’s letter: ” We are residing in a nation where the Supreme Court states that the demolition of the Babri Masjid was once illegal and, in the same judgement, rewards the identical people who brought down the mosque.”
Last year in November the Supreme Court had ruled that the formerly disputed land in Ayodhya belonged to the deity Ram Lalla, or the infant Lord Ram.
The court, however, also stated that the razing of the sixteenth century Babri Masjid in December 1992 used to be unlawful and a “calculated act of destroying a vicinity of public worship”.
Today Attorney General stated that the “statement in the first section appears to be a factual one, and is perception of the speaker”.
The second comment made by Ms. Bhaskar ” We are rulded by a government that doesn’t have faith on Constitution… we are ruled by police forces that do not believe in Constitution.. it appears we are now in a situation where our courts are not sure whether or not they consider in the Constitution”.
The remark has been seen by many as reference to protests such as the one led by way of female in Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh towards the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act.
The Attorney General’s refusal to proceed with a criminal contempt case against Ms. Bhaskar comes after lawyer-activist Prashant Bhushan was held guilty of the same charge.
Mr. Bhushan in his defense tweets “as an attempt for working for the betterment of the institution”, and that open criticism was necessary to safeguard democracy in India. The Attorney General had clarified in court that his views were not against the government but it was his opinion.
An unimpressed Supreme Court gave Mr Bhushan up to three days “to reconsider” his statement and sought an unconditional apology.