It appears that the cause of action for the suo moto criminal contempt case against Advocate Prashant Bhushan is a tweet made by him on June 29 commenting on Chief Justice of India SA Bobde riding a Harley Davidson motor bike.
Advocate Anuj Saxena has now claimed that he had filed an application on behalf of one Mahek Maheswari on July 9, seeking to initiate criminal contempt proceedings against Bhushan and Twitter India over the tweet on CJI Bobde.
Saxena further stated that a diary number of 14323/2020 was given upon the filing of the application at 3.48 PM on July 9.
That Diary Number 14323/2020 is now seen registered as the suo moto criminal contempt case, which is listed before a bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra tomorrow.
The suo moto case was registered today, July 21.
On June 29, Bhushan had tweeted, along with a photograph of CJI Bobde mounted over a Harley Davidson bike, as follows :
"CJI rides a 50 lakh motorcycle belonging to a BJP leader at Raj Bhavan, Nagpur, without a mask or helmet, at a time when he keeps the SC in Lockdown mode denying citizens their fundamental right to access Justice!".
CJI rides a 50 Lakh motorcycle belonging to a BJP leader at Raj Bhavan Nagpur, without a mask or helmet, at a time when he keeps the SC in Lockdown mode denying citizens their fundamental right to access Justice! pic.twitter.com/PwKOS22iMz— Prashant Bhushan (@pbhushan1) June 29, 2020
Maheswari, in his application, stated that the tweet was malafide and offensive, as the court was working even during the lockdown through virtual mode.
"...the remarks are too inhuman forgetting that how much the Hon'ble CJI and other Justices are stretching themselves to grant justice to the citizen that they allow hearing by Video Conferencing mode.They are not even enjoying vacations properly", the application stated.
The application alleged that the tweet was a "cheap publicity stunt" with an attempt to "spread hatred in the form of anti-India campaign."
It is further stated in the application that the tweet incited "feeling of no-confidence" among the public in the independence of judiciary and therefore amounted to "scandalizing the court", which attract criminal contempt under the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971.
Action against Twitter India is sought on the ground that it has failed to block the tweet.