Attorney General KK Venugopal on Sunday rejected the plea that sought criminal contempt proceedings against Bollywood actress Swara Bhasker on Sunday. The plea had accused the actor of “derogatory and scandalous” statements against the Supreme Court. She had criticised the SC verdict in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute case of Ayodhya.

“I do not think that this is a case where the offence of scandalising the court or lowering the authority of the court would arise. I, therefore, decline consent to initiate contempt proceedings against Swara Bhaskar,” Venugopal said.

ALSO READ | After Rhea moves SC against ‘unfair media trial’, Swara Bhasker comes out in her support

Referring to the statements made by her at a panel discussion organised by ‘Mumbai Collective’ on February 1, the petition referred to the statements as an “attack on the institution”.

“The petition intends to initiate criminal contempt proceedings against Swara Bhaskar for passing derogatory and scandalous statement in the context of the Supreme Court of India on February 1, 2020, at a panel discussion organised by ‘Mumbai Collective’,” said advocate Mahek Maheshwari, who along with lawyers Anuj Saxena and Prakash Sharma, has filed the plea.

ALSO READ | ‘Defer sentence… heavens won’t fall’, says Prashant Bhushan; top court gives him 2 days time

The consent of either the Attorney General or the Solicitor General is necessary under section 15 of the Contempt of Courts Act 1971, for initiating contempt proceedings against a person.

In a landmark verdict in November, the Supreme Court had ruled that the disputed land in Ayodhya would be handed over to a government-run trust for the construction of a Ram temple. It had also said that the demolition of Babri Masjid was illegal and directed the government to acquire an alternative plot of land to build a mosque.