In a recent development, filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri has tendered an unconditional apology for his tweets against the Chief Justice of Orissa, Chief Justice of the Orissa High Court, S Muralidhar. The apology came in response to the contempt of court case filed against him by the Supreme Court.
The controversy began when Vivek Agnihotri tweeted on October 4, 2022, accusing Justice Panigrahi of bias in a case related to the giving relief to activist Gautam Navlakha in the Bhima Koregaon case. He claimed that the judge was acting at the behest of powerful forces and was not interested in protecting the interests of the victims thus giving a bias decision
The tweet went viral on social media, and soon after, the Supreme Court took suo moto cognizance of the matter and issued a contempt notice to Agnihotri exercising a contempt of court against the filmmaker. The court asked him to explain why he should not be punished for the derogatory remarks made against the Chief Justice of Orissa.
Agnihotri, who was available online during the court proceedings, presented the affidavit through his lawyer. He then tendered the notice, expressed regret for his tweets and said that he had no intention of disrespecting the judiciary or the Chief Justice. He acknowledged that his tweets were irresponsible and baseless and could have caused harm to the reputation of the judiciary.
The filmmaker also stated that he had deleted the offending tweets and would refrain from making any such statements in the future. He said that he was aware of the importance of the judiciary in upholding the rule of law and would never do anything to undermine its authority.
The Supreme Court, in its order on November 8, 2022, accepted Agnihotri’s apology and closed the case. The court, however, noted that such comments against the judiciary should not be made lightly, and every citizen should exercise restraint and respect for the institution.
The case highlights the need for responsible behavior on social media and the consequences of making derogatory statements against public figures. It also underscores the importance of the judiciary in upholding the rule of law and protecting the rights of citizens.
In recent years, there has been a growing trend of individuals using social media to express their views on various issues, including those related to the judiciary. While social media can be a powerful tool for expressing opinions, it is important to exercise restraint and respect for public figures, especially those who hold constitutional positions.
The apology tendered by Vivek Agnihotri for his tweets against the Chief Justice of Orissa is a welcome development. It shows that individuals can take responsibility for their actions and express regret for any harm caused.