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The Supreme Court said that the 2009 contempt case against activist-advocate Prashant Bhushan and former Tehelka editor Tarun Tejpal for making comments against the judges needs further hearing. The Supreme Court said that it will consider in this case whether the remarks of corruption about the judges are actually contempt or not.

A bench of Justices Arun Mishra, Justice BR Gavai and Justice Krishna Murari fixed the next hearing on August 17 in the case.

In 2009, Prashant Bhushan, in an interview to Tehelka magazine, accused some former and presiding judges of the top court of corruption. In November 2009, the court gave contempt notice to Prashant Bhushan and Tehelka editor Tarun Tejpal. Apart from this, after taking cognizance of two tweets of Prashant Bhushan recently, the court again gave notice to Prashant Bhushan.

In the hearing on 4 August, the Supreme Court made it clear to Bhushan and Tejpal that if their ‘cleanliness’ or ‘apology’ was not accepted, the case would be heard further. The court said that the cleanliness / apology filed by Bhushan and Tejpal has not yet been received. A decision will be given as to whether it will be accepted or rejected.

In a brief hearing during video conferencing last week, the bench stated that its intention is not to snatch away freedom of expression, but there is a fine line between freedom of expression and contempt of court.

Meanwhile, in the past, senior advocate Prashant Bhushan, senior journalist N. Ram and former Union Minister Arun Shourie have filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the validity of section 2 (c) (i) in the contempt law of the court. This provision declares the publication of the subject matter as a crime which condemns the court or diminishes the authority of the court.

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