Before the Delhi High Court on Tuesday, film director Vivek Agnihotri offered an unreserved apology for his remarks accusing Justice S Muralidhar of prejudice as he granted activist Gautam Navlakha bail. After the court made the decision to proceed ex-parte against Agnihotri and others, the 49-year-old director issued an apology.
From 2006 to March 2020, Justice Muralidhar presided as a judge on the Delhi High Court. Later, he worked for the Punjab and Haryana High Court until January 2021. He now serves as the Orissa High Court’s Chief Justice.
Agnihotri said in his affidavit, which was submitted to the court, that he had removed the tweet at issue. He has been asked by the court to appear personally and apologise. “We are asking him (Agnihotri) to remain present because he is the contemnor. Does he have any difficulty if he has to express remorse in person? The remorse cannot always be expressed by way of an affidavit,” the bench remarked.
Arvind Nigam, a prominent counsel and amicus curiae, has also emphasised that it was the social media site, not Agnihotri, that removed the post.
According to the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), Gautam Navlakha is charged with participating in the Bhima Koregaon riots. The NIA’s bid to oppose his motion for home arrest was just denied by the Supreme Court.
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