In a dramatic twist to the ongoing legal proceedings on Harsh Mander’s petition seeking registration of an FIR against three BJP leaders, the Centre has hit back accusing Harsh Mander of doing the same thing that he is accusing the BJP leaders of.
The development comes hours after a video from December 2019 of Harsh Mander addressing the public on the issue of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) went viral. In the video, Mander can be seen making statements against the top court, calling on the public to take to the streets for “real justice”.
The video was raked up by the Solicitor General of India during the hearing on Harsh Mander’s appeal against the Delhi High Court decision to adjourn the hearing in the case till April. The Solicitor General was asked to submit a transcript of the video along with an affidavit on behalf of the Centre authorising the same. Late in the evening, the DCP Legal Cell filed the affidavit before the Supreme Court.
In the short 2-page affidavit filed before the top court, Harsh Mander has been accused of “delivering a speech which us not only instigating violence but is also seriously contemptuous as it makes derogatory remarks against the Supreme Court of India before a huge gathering of people”. The Centre also states that “Harsh Mander is known for taking contemptuous stands and bringing the judiciary, as an institution and individual judges to disrepute”.
Through this affidavit, the Centre has sought initiation of contempt proceedings against Mander while also asking the Court to impose exemplary costs on him. A copy of the video has also been submitted before the Supreme Court in a pen drive along with a transcript. The hearing on the issue of contempt will now be taken up on Friday, during which time, Harsh Mander has been restricted from making any arguments on the issue pertaining to the Delhi riots.