The Supreme Court witnessed another eventful proceedings on Thursday as the contempt case against noted lawyer Prashant Bhushan came up for hearing. However, the hearing soon became controversial after lawyer Anand Garover, also husband of Indira Jaising, accused Attorney General of making sexist statement against her.
The courtroom 4 was hearing the contempt case against Bhushan, who admitted that he had made a ‘genuine mistake’ by alleging in his tweet the government may have submitted doctored minutes of meeting of the high-powered selection committee on the appointment of M Nageswara Rao as an interim CBI Director.
The hearing turned controversial as Jaising took objection to a statement made by Venugopal. According to Bar and Bench website, during the hearing, lawyer Anand Grover tried to make an intervention in the matter. Grover had filed an intervention in the contempt case with her husband Anand Grover representing her.
Justice Arun Mishra asked Grover who he was representing? He replied, “Ms. Jaising.” Justice Mishra sought further clarification, “Not Indira Jaising?” Grover replied, “Yes, Ms. Indira Jaising, it is the same name only.”
It was here when Attorney General Venugopal, who was seated in the court, commented, “You should say your wife.”
Not amused by Venugopal’s comments, Jaising reacted angrily, “Withdraw that remark Mr. Attorney. I am a person in my own right.” She found support in her lawyer husband, who felt that statement made by Venugopal was sexist in nature. Jainsing continued, “We identify as individual lawyers, not as a wife or husband of anyone. Hence, we chose not to change our name. So Ms. Indira Jaising.”
She said that she had her own individual identity and she did not identify herself as someone’s wife. Venugopal, for his part, said that Jaising was a good lawyer.
Jainsing later took to Twitter to write, “Mind your language in court.”
Mind your language in court https://t.co/sk6oaMJFBP
— indira jaising (@IJaising) March 7, 2019
Her post evoked overwhelming reactions from social media users;
Immense respect. That this needs to be said in 2019!
— Kiran Manral (@KiranManral) March 7, 2019
Shocking that such a thing has happened in the 21st Century at the Temple of Justice and E quality.
— Who Killed Justice? (@vidyadharana) March 7, 2019
I recall the time that BlueDart would not deliver bank documents in my husband’s name to me because my ID carries a different surname than his. Despite showing my passport where he is mentioned as spouse!
— Radhika Bajaj (@radhikabajaj) March 7, 2019
And AG is saying this? Atrocious.
— Ashok Chowkulkar (@AshokChowkulkar) March 7, 2019
As for the contempt case against Bhushan, although Venugopal told the court that he did not want any punishment for the former in the matter, the Supreme Court bench said that it would consider the larger issue of whether a person can criticise the court in a sub- judice matter to influence public opinion before it posted the matter for further hearing on 3 April.