Fact Check: Did Attorney General Ask Supreme Court To Hold Its Mouth?
Many media outlets today reported that Attorney General R.Venkataramani told the Supreme Court judges, "hold your mouth", during the hearing of cases relating to the appointment of Election Commissioners before a constitution bench.
"Please hold your mouth for a while. I request to look into the issue in entirety," the Attorney General was reported to have told the Court. Most mainstream media outlets including the Times of India published the news on their websites based on the report of a news agency, with the headline "...Centre asks court to 'hold its mouth'..".
The news agency concerned then issued a clarification stating that its report erroneously mentioned that the Attorney General made the 'hold your mouth' remarks against the Bench and that the AG had made the remarks against a lawyer. Many websites then modified their news reports accordingly. However, some websites like the Times of India continue to carry the wrong news.
Madhyamam, a Malayalam new portal which published an article titled "Please shut your mouth- Attorney General to the Supreme Court" has simply deleted the article, but their social media posts remain.
While the Attorney General was answering a question of the five-judge Bench of Justice K M Joseph, Justice Ajay Rastogi, Justice Aniruddha Bose, Justice Hrishikesh Roy and Justice CT Ravikumar, Advocate Prashant Bhushan on the petitioners' side started addressing the Court. The AG stopped him by saying, "before you open up" and continued answering the Bench.
When Prashant Bhushan interrupted again, the Attorney General turned to Prashant Bhushan and said, "please..please hold your mouth". Prashant Bhushan then sat down and the AG continued to address the Court.
What transpired during the hearing before the Constitutional Bench today can be viewed on youtube here. (The relevant part begins at 23.40 minutes)