Filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri tendered a written apology to the Delhi High Court on Tuesday in a criminal contempt case for his remarks against a judge whom he accused of bias in granting relief to activist Gautam Navlakha, but the court acquitted him. ordered to appear. Before and “show remorse in person”.
A bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Talwant Singh asked whether Agnihotri, whose film ‘The Kashmir Files’ has again hit the headlines over Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid’s remarks, had any difficulty in appearing before the court in person. “We are asking him (Agnihotri) to remain present as he is an alleged contemnor. Does he have any difficulty in appearing before this court? He will have to appear and show remorse in person.”
The bench asked Agnihotri’s counsel, “Is there any difficulty if he has to express remorse in person? Remorse cannot always be expressed through an affidavit.” His counsel submitted that the filmmaker has tendered an unconditional apology in an affidavit in which he also stated that he himself deleted his tweets against the judge.
However, the court was informed by amicus curiae that the submission was incorrect and it was Twitter which deleted his tweet. The bench told Agnihotri’s counsel, “You can make all these arguments after she appears before this court.”
Agnihotri in a tweet in October 2018 accused Justice S Muralidhar, then a sitting judge of the Delhi High Court and is currently the Chief Justice of the Orissa High Court, of bias when he granted bail to Navlakha, who was a The accused were in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist link case, and ordered his release from house arrest. In Tuesday’s hearing, the Delhi High Court observed that appearing before the court is not a pain and said, “Let him appear. Is there any difficulty in appearing before this court? We hope not.”
The court was hearing an application filed by Agnihotri, seeking permission to participate in the criminal contempt proceedings initiated by the High Court. The application was filed in a pending criminal contempt case in which the court had in September this year decided to take ex parte action against Agnihotri and other alleged contemnors, Anand Ranganathan and Swarajya Patrika, an online news portal, noting that It happened that he was not represented.
On Tuesday, the bench allowed the plea and said that in the interest of justice, he is allowed to participate in these proceedings henceforth. It asked Agnihotri to remain personally present in the court on March 16, 2023.
As per the tweets, contempt of court proceedings were initiated against Agnihotri and others. Earlier, the High Court had directed two social media platforms to block the weblink of an article making slanderous allegations against the judge.
The court had initiated suo motu contempt proceedings after receiving a letter from senior advocate Rajasekhara Rao, alleging that the tweet was a deliberate attempt to attack the High Court judge. Contempt proceedings were also initiated against RSS ideologue and editor of Chennai-based weekly ‘Thuglak’ magazine Swaminathan Gurumurthy for his tweets against the judge.