The Supreme Court today agreed to hear a plea seeking initiation of contempt proceedings against actress-turned-Congress leader Divya Spandana for allegedly making "politically motivated" and "frivolous" allegations against Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra through her Twitter acount.
The matter was mentioned for urgent listing before a bench comprising CJI Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, but the bench said the plea would come up for hearing in due course.
The petition, filed by retired army officer Anil Kabotra, has claimed that Spandana was an active member of the Congress and was aware of the impeachment motion against the CJI, which was moved by a group of opposition parties led by the Congress.
"The (alleged) contemnor (Spandana) in furtherance of her service to the Indian National Congress, used social media to disparage the Chief Justice of India and also the highest court of India, whereby, putting in jeopardy the administration of justice and faith in judiciary," the plea, filed through advocate R D Upadhyay, said.
The plea claimed that Spandana had made the comments through her Twitter account on April 23 after Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu had rejected the impeachment motion, filed by several Rajya Sabha members, against the CJI.
It alleged that "the contemnor used the word 'fixed benches' to make an inference that the Chief Justice allocates cases arbitrarily with ulterior motive and it effects public trust and confidence on the Supreme Court of India".
The plea claimed that by making such comments, Spandana had not only "disrespected" the CJI but also the institution, as comments like "fixed benches" or giving details of cases was not merely affecting the dignity and honour of the CJI but also questioning the administrative side of the apex court.
It alleged that her comments fall within the ambit of the definition of criminal contempt under the provision of the Contempt of Court Act, 1971.
The Rajya Sabha Chairman had on April 23 rejected the notice, given by 64 MPs of seven opposition parties led by the Congress, for impeachment of the CJI on five grounds of alleged misbehaviour. This was the first time that an impeachment notice was filed against a sitting CJI.
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