Tweets rile India’s Supreme Court


India’s Supreme Court Wednesday issued notice to activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan over alleged contemptuous remarks he made on Twitter.

The court also asked the attorney general of India to assist it in the case.

A bench of the apex court, comprising Justices Arun Mishra, BR Gavai and Krishna Murari, asked Bhushan and Twitter to file their reply by August 5.

“We are, prima facie, of the view that the aforesaid statements on Twitter have brought the administration of justice in disrepute and are capable of undermining the dignity and authority of the institution of the Supreme Court in general and the office of the Chief Justice of India in particular, in the eyes of public at large,” the court said.

Senior advocate Sajan Poovayya, representing Twitter Inc, USA, contended that he would advise his client to delete the offensive tweets.

The bench questioned Twitter why it couldn’t disable the tweets on its own even after a contempt case had been initiated. The counsel for Twitter said he understood it and would convey the court’s intent to his client.

He also submitted before the bench to direct it to disable tweets by Bhushan, and insisted that Twitter couldn’t delete tweets without the court direction.

“We take suo motu cognizance of the aforesaid tweet also, apart from the tweet quoted above and suo motu register the proceedings. We issue notice to the attorney general for India and to Prashant Bhushan also,” the court said referring to Bhushan’s two tweets.

The Supreme Court initiated suo motu contempt proceedings against Bhushan for allegedly making derogatory comments of bias against the top court on Twitter.

India’s apex court has been hearing cases through video link all through the lockdown.

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