On Monday, filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri came before the Delhi High Court and apologised wholeheartedly for his alleged remarks against a court judge that was the subject of a criminal contempt prosecution.
Agnihotri accepted his apologies, and a bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Vikas Mahajan cleared him of the contempt charge while admonishing him to exercise prudence moving forward.
“In view of the circumstances that Vivek Agnihotri stated that he has the utmost respect for the institution of the judiciary and did not intend to wilfully offend the majesty of this court, the notice to show cause issued to him is hereby recalled. Vivek Agnihotri stands discharged as the alleged contemnor,” the bench said.
In accordance with the court’s prior order, Agnihotri came before it.
The director had tweeted in 2018 that Justice S Muralidhar, who is now the chief justice of the Orissa High Court and served as a judge of the Delhi High Court at the time, was biassed since he had freed rights activist Gautam Navlakha from house imprisonment in the Bhima-Koregaon violence case.
The high court then started contempt of court proceedings against Agnihotri and others.
READ ALSO: Nigerian twins graduate with First Class from same Department
The court ordered the director to “show remorse in person” on December 6 of last year after he submitted an unconditional apology through an affidavit.
“We are asking him (Agnihotri) to remain present because he is the alleged contemnor. Does he have any difficulty in appearing before this court? He has to be present and show remorse in person,” the court had said.
Anand Ranganathan’s attorney told the court that he will be present when the case was heard again on May 24. Ranganathan is another alleged contemnor.
Ranganathan had previously tweeted that he will fight the contempt charges, according to senior attorney Arvind Nigam, who is assisting the court in the case as an amicus curiae.
In the current case, the court had started the contempt proceedings on its own following receipt of a letter from renowned attorney Rajshekhar Rao.
The editor of the weekly “Thuglak” in Chennai, Swaminathan Gurumurthy, was also the subject of contempt proceedings as a result of his tweets criticising the judge.
Then, in October 2019, the case against Gurumurthy was concluded.
Rao said in his letter that the tweets were an intentional attempt to criticise a judge on the high court.
The court had already ordered two social media sites to ban weblinks to an article that made scandalous claims against the judge.
Get Faster News Update On: WhatsApp and Telegram