The Supreme Court yesterday stayed the breach of privilege motion notice issued against author Shobhaa De by Maharashtra Assembly Speaker for her tweets on the state government’s decision to make it mandatory for multiplexes to screen Marathi movies during prime time.
A bench of justices Dipak Misra and Prafulla C Pant also issued notice to the parties concerned and sought their response within eight weeks on De’s plea. The author had moved the apex court against the notice issued by the Assembly Speaker, following a complaint against her by Shiv Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik alleging that her series of tweets insulted Marathi language and Marathi-speaking people.
Senior advocate C A Sundaram, appearing for De, said, “Comments were made against the decision of the government and it does not breach any privilege of the Assembly.” He also said the apex court, in its various decisions, has described the privileges of the Assembly and the writer has not breached any.
Waiting for CM
Dr Anant Kalse, principal secretary of state legislature, told mid-day that as per Parliamentary precedents, the legislature does not accept any notice from the apex court. “The state government will get the notice served by the Supreme Court and will decide on the issue,” he said. No senior official was willing to comment on the issue, stating that the chief minister was overseas and the matter would be decided after he returned.
Earlier this month, Kalse had issued a notice to De asking her to explain her tweets about the decision to make it mandatory for multiplexes to screen Marathi movies during prime time. The notice was issued after Shiv Sena’s Sarnaik moved a breach of privilege motion in the state assembly against De.