Upholding Integrity: Supreme Court Takes Action Against Misleading Social Media Posts

In a move highlighting the gravity of misinformation on social media, the Supreme Court has initiated contempt proceedings against Assam MLA Karim Uddin Barbhuiya. The Court expressed profound concern over the proliferation of inaccurate and baseless statements on social media platforms concerning ongoing court cases.

The justices, Aniruddha Bose and Bela Trivedi, scrutinized a Facebook post by Barbhuiya, falsely asserting that the Court had ruled in his favor. This post surfaced on March 20, coinciding with the day the Court had only reserved its judgment. The Court underscored the distressing trend of exploiting social media channels to distort facts, tarnish the Court’s reputation, and misguide the public.

Senior Advocate Jaideep Gupta, representing the contempt petitioner, emphasized the detrimental impact of such posts on the sanctity of judicial proceedings and the administration of justice. On the other side, Senior Advocate Dr. Menaka Guruswamy represented Barbhuiya. The contentious post by Barbhuiya insinuated the Court’s favoritism towards him, casting doubt on the integrity of the judicial process.

The election petition at the crux of this controversy stemmed from the 2021 Assembly election in Assam, where Barbhuiya emerged victorious. His opponent, Aminul Haque Laskar, challenged his victory, alleging corrupt practices. The Gauhati High Court rejected Barbhuiya’s plea to dismiss the election petition, prompting him to appeal to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court vehemently condemned attempts to distort judicial proceedings or misrepresent judges’ remarks. It stressed the importance of maintaining confidence in the judiciary and preventing prejudice to the involved parties.

In light of these developments, the Court issued a contempt notice to Barbhuiya, requiring his physical presence at the next hearing. The Attorney General of India was also directed to receive a copy of the order. The proceedings are scheduled to resume in four weeks.

This decisive action by the Supreme Court reaffirms its commitment to upholding the integrity of legal processes and combating misinformation that threatens the foundation of justice.

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