Senior Supreme Court Advocate, Prashant Bhushan today (March 7, 2019) admitted before the apex court that he made a "genuine mistake" by tweeting that the government had perhaps submitted fabricated minutes of a meeting of the high-powered selection committee on appointment of M. Nageswara Rao as an interim CBI director.
In view of Bhushan’s statement, Attorney General K.K. Venugopal told the Bench comprising of Justices Arun Mishra and Navin Sinha that he would like to withdraw his contempt plea filed against Mr. Bhushan by stating that he “realized his mistake.”
Senior lawyer, Dushyant Dave, representing Prashant Bhushan, told the Bench that after hearing the Attorney General's statement, he is apologizing on behalf of his colleague and also withdrawing the recusal petition against Justice Arun Mishra from hearing the contempt case.
However, the Bench insisted that instead of Mr. Dave, Prashant Bhushan should come forward and apologize. To which, the latter refused and said he won't withdraw his plea seeking recusal of Justice Mishra.
When Mr. Venugopal told the Bench that he did not want any punishment for Prashant Bhushan in the matter, the Bench proceeded to say that now it would consider the larger issue of whether a person can criticise the court, when a case is subjudice, to influence public opinion.
The court posted the matter for further hearing on April 3, 2019.