The Supreme Court has on 6 March, directed the activist and former IAS officer Harsh Mander to file a reply on an affidavit submitted by Delhi Police, alleging inflammatory and contemptuous speech, during a protest against Citizenship Amendment Act, in Jamia Millia Islamia University.
The bench comprising of Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and Justices BR Gavai and Surya Kant has granted liberty to the Delhi Police to file an affidavit regarding another video clip, showing Mander’s objectionable statement in a press conference addressed by him.
“If the police wish to put the speech on record, then an affidavit should be filed in this regard and its copy be furnished to the other party” submitted the bench.
Earlier, on 4 March, the Delhi Police had filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court, seeking initiation of contempt proceedings against Mander for allegedly insulting the court. In the affidavit, the police cited a video clip wherein Mander has allegedly said that he had no faith in the Supreme Court and that “real justice will be done on the streets” at a protest in Delhi’s Jamia Milia Islamia University last year.
Meanwhile, Senior advocate Dushyant Dave appearing for Harsh Mander told the court that he has himself seen the entire speech and it is neither contemptuous, nor instigating, nor disparaging.
However, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Delhi Police opposed Dave’s submissions and said he had come across more than one statement that was objectionable and brought disrepute to the judiciary.
The matter has been scheduled for the next hearing on 15 April.