“I had written on April 22 to the CJI with copy to four most senior judges. The Justice Bobde panel was announced late on the 23rd,” the Attorney General said, adding he wrote a second letter on April 23 to make it clear that what he had said in the first letter was “my personal view”.
The plea referred to the hearing before a bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Navin Sinha on February 1 when the petition filed by NGO Common Cause came up — Bhushan had represented the NGO at the hearing.
Venugopal said a petition for live-streaming was pending before the court and it would help reduce the crowd if there are designated centres from where lawyers, clients, interns etc can watch the proceedings.
Venugopal pointed out that during the anti-Padmavat protests, some groups had threatened to cut off the nose of actor Deepika Padukone for her portrayal of Queen Padmavati. He wondered whether these were part of civilised behaviour.
Noting instances of abuse of the 1989 Act by “vested interests” for political and personal reasons, the top court in its March 20 judgment had laid down stringent safeguards, including provision for anticipatory bail and vetting of complaint to determine if a case was made out before registration of FIR under it