A writ petition was filed against the provision of the 1972 Act by journalist N Ram, Advocate Prashant Bhushan, and former Union Minister Arun Shourie.
Ram v. Union of India, the Apex court heard the plea challenging the constitutional validity of Section 2(c) (i), the provision regards acts that outrage or lower the authority of courts punishing the criminal contempt within the courts under the Contempt of Court Act, 1972. The petition argued that the proviso violates the fundamental rights under Article 14 and 19 of the Indian Constitution.
The petition argued that the reviled provision is unlawful as it is incongruent with preamble values and the basic structure of the Constitution, it abuses Article 19(1)(a), is unconstitutional and hopelessly unclear, and is self-assertive.
The petitioner argued that the section violates the fundamental rights to free speech to the degree that it isn't secured under the reasonable limitations under Article 19(2) of the Constitution. It is fought that "scandalising the court" can not be said in order to cover under the progress of "Contempt of court" under Article 19(2).
The Petitioner further submitted that regardless of whether the sub-section was challenged under 'contempt' in the "reasonable limitations" under Article 19 (2), it is yet lopsided and outlandish. The submission content that this subsection "fails the trial of over breadth" adversely affecting free speech and expression.
The appeal additionally includes that the reprimanded sub-section has an incredibly wide import and is unequipped for objective interpretation and impartial application. For example, a negligible interrogation by a traffic constable about whether the red beacon on the hood of a judge's vehicle was authorised was held to be contempt on the grounds of "scandalising the court".
It is additionally argued that the offense of "contempt of the court" is established in colonial suppositions and objectives, which were illegal orders in democratic constitutionalism and the support of an open robust public sphere.
The plea likewise refers to contempt procedures filed against every one of the three petitioners previously. Ram had confronted procedures introduced by the Kerala High Court in 2005 for denouncing the way Mathrubhumi Editor, K Gopalakrishnan had been forced to appear in court on a stretcher to summon for contempt of court case.
Shourie confronted contempt activity in 1990, back when he was Editor of the Indian Express, in a plea filed by Subramanian Swamy. Those procedures emerged from an article expounded on the working of a Commission of Enquiry headed by then-Supreme Court judge, Justice Kuldip Singh.
Notwithstanding being unconstitutionality of the act violating the freedom of speech, the petitioner argued, that the subsection is "incurabaly vague". In this manner, it is difficult to confine and divide the extent of the arrangement.
The plea further states that this makes the proviso arbitrary and infringing upon the necessity of non-arbitrariness under Article 14 of the Constitution. The section fails the trial of show discretion set by the Supreme Court in the cases of Navtej Singh Johar v. UOI and Shayra Bano v. UOI. The 1972 Act fails to excel in the test set up in Justice KS Puttaswamy v. Union of India. The 2001 judgment of Pallav Sheth v. Caretaker where the court barred the interference of the legislature under Article 129 and 215 of the constitution in defining contempt was further submitted in the petition.
The petitioner prayed before the court to strike down the ultra vires Section 2(c)(i) of Act, 1972, it stands unconstitutional under Article 14 and 19 of the Indian Constitution.