Mr Dushyant Dave
Issue 9 | August 15, 2020
The recent difference in public opinion regarding the contempt proceedings taken up by the Hon'ble Supreme Court against Senior Advocate Prashant Bhushan has proved to divide the community of legal practitioners as to what exactly is meant by the term "Contempt of Court". One main figure who emerged as a social media pathbreaker during this tussle is Advocate Dushyant Dave.
Advocate Dave tried to categorise the difference between fair criticism and contempt by remarking that "Fair Criticism of Judge Not a Crime" (sic). He went on to assert that “To criticise a judge fairly, albeit fiercely, is not a crime, but a right."
Furthermore, he analysed the contemporary developments with reference to Contempt proceedings by comparing it with the sexual harrasment complaint filed against the former CJI Ranjan Gogoi. He asserted, “Look at the sexual harassment case against the then CJI Gogoi. All the charges have been dropped against the lady and she has been reinstated now. These show that she was speaking the truth then. Was contempt of court issued then? Justice Patnaik's report has still not been disclosed. CJI sat on his own court on Saturday. That CJI accepts a Rajya Sabha nomination and A grade security. If somebody talks about it then you cannot issue contempt against them. No institution should be free from criticism."
“No one can claim infallibility which includes the judges." This statement marked by Mr Dave reflects his resolve towards challenging the nature of usage of the Contempt of Court provision.