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Attorney General refuses to prosecute journalist Dilip Mandal for tweet against CJI

Attorney General KK Venugopal refused to give consent to initiate contempt proceedings against Dilip Mandal for his tweet against the CJI

What's the news: Attorney General KK Venugopal on July 19 refused to give his consent to initiate contempt proceedings against journalist Dilip Mandal for his tweet against the Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana. "While the statement is certainly intemperate, I am not satisfied that it has capacity to scandalize the Court or to lower its authority. The shoulders of the Court are broad enough to shrug off such comments." — Attorney General KK Venugopal Why does this matter: Just yesterday, the Madras High Court initiated suo moto contempt of court proceedings against YouTuber and blogger Savukku Shankar for tweets allegedly questioning Justice GR Swaminathan's integrity, and we wrote about how this sheds a bad light on the state of fundamental rights in the country because the judiciary itself is curbing freedom of speech and expression. Against this backdrop, the Attorney General's decision is welcome news, but it also showcases a lack of clarity as to what constitutes contempt of court and what doesn't, and when (or if) mere criticism crosses the line. For instance, why was the tweet attacking Justice GR Swaminathan considered contempt and the one targeting the CJI not. Why was Dilip Mandal targeted: The request to initiate criminal contempt proceedings was made by Advocate Saurabh Tiwari for the following tweet, which was made in response to a speech given by CJI NV Ramana about reforms in the criminal justice system. https://twitter.com/Profdilipmandal/status/1548211547679252482?s=20&t=qf6GwOfcpxM6K_2wvr1knQ As per the translation provided by the Attorney General's office, the tweet loosely reads: "He sermonizes even better than…

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