Punjab drugs case: Haryana AG to hear plea seeking criminal contempt case against Sidhu today

The application deals with alleged "irresponsible" tweets by Sidhu in connection with the Punjab drugs case.

An application for filing a criminal contempt petition against Punjab Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu has been placed before the Haryana Advocate General for procedural consent before moving the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The application deals with alleged “irresponsible” tweets by Sidhu in connection with the Punjab drugs case. The petitioner has argued that Haryana is also a party to the case before HC and is actively participating in the proceedings.

The Haryana AG will conduct a preliminary hearing on the matter on Tuesday.

Advocate Parampreet Singh Bajwa, the petitioner, has alleged that Sidhu’s tweets amount to criminal contempt of the high court. Bajwa has said in the application that he is “deeply concerned about repeated and irresponsible scurrilous attacks on judiciary”.

The AG, after finding the veracity of the allegation will see whether a prima facie case can be made and if it can be made, then a report will be submitted to the high court for further action, said Bajwa.

Referring to the case, which is under consideration of the high court, the petitioner submitted that Sidhu, on his Twitter handles, has made advance publications about a very sensitive matter related to the drug menace in Punjab.

Bajwa said in his application that Sidhu has made “a publication/advance publication” in the form of his tweets about the subject already pending before HC, and “even published his conclusion” in the matter about certain persons. “These publications are actuated by malice and are intended to interfere with the administration of justice,” said the petition.

The petitioner also attached some of Sidhu’s tweets with his plea.

According to the petition, “quintessentially this criminal contempt” against Sidhu “arisess from the fact” that he has over nine lakh followers on his Twitter. “The respondent knows that his tweets are widely read and generate huge publicity. He occupies a position of great power and there would inevitably be many people who would believe the publications of the respondent to be true. The tweets are likely to create and influence public opinion in the matter…

Yet, the respondent has made various tweets which are apparently prejudicing, substantially interfering with due course of the proceedings. The respondent is aware about the pendency of the proceedings and using a public platform to irresponsibly publish tweets, which substantially interfere with the due course of justice”.

The petitioner submitted that the “publications on Twitter…are read all over the world, including in the state of Haryana and moreover, the re-tweets/comments/shares etc. are equally done all over the world.”

It further stated that Sidhu was not even a party to the said proceedings, yet he was using his current position to create and influence public opinion, which shows that his publications are not bonafide.

The petitioner has thus prayed to the AG, Haryana, to allow his application and consent in writing to enable him to institute the criminal contempt petition and so that the objection may be removed.

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