SC holds advocate Prashant Bhushan responsible of contempt of court docket

Satya Prakash

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 14

The Supreme Court on Friday held activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan responsible of contempt of court docket for scandalising the judiciary by his tweets towards Chief Justice of India SA Bobde.

A Bench of Justice Arun Mishra, Justice BR Gavai and Justice Krishna Murari – which held him responsible – will hear arguments on sentence on August 20.

Pronouncing the decision, Justice Gavai mentioned Bhushan dedicated a “serious” contempt of court docket.

Recently, Bhushan had tweeted, “CJI rides a 50 Lakh motorcycle belonging to a BJP leader at Raj Bhavan Nagpur, without a mask or helmet, at a time when he keeps the SC in Lockdown mode denying citizens their fundamental right to access Justice!”

In one other tweet on June  27, he had mentioned, “When historians in future look back at the last 6 years to see how democracy has been destroyed in India even without a formal Emergency, they will particularly mark the role of the Supreme Court in this destruction, & more particularly the role of the last 4 CJIs.”

The high court docket had on July 22 taken robust exception to each the tweets and initiated suo motu contempt proceedings towards Bhushan.

Referring to 2 of Bhushan’s tweets, a Bench had earlier mentioned, “We are, prima facie, of the view that the  aforesaid statements on Twitter have brought the administration of justice in disrepute and are capable of undermining the dignity and authority of the Institution of Supreme Court in general and the office of the Chief Justice of India in particular, in the eyes of public at large.”

The high court docket had on August 5 reserved its order on a suo motu felony contempt case initiated towards Bhushan for his tweets allegedly scandalising the judiciary after listening to at size senior advocate Dushyant Dave, on behalf of Bhushan.

Dave had argued that no establishment ought to be free from public criticism.

Earlier, it had determined to go forward with contempt proceedings towards the activist-lawyer in a in 11-year-old contempt case by which he had expressed remorse however refused to apologise.

During the listening to, Dave had tried to impress upon the Bench that Bhushan’s tweets important of CJI SA Bobde and former CJIs did not quantity to scandalising the judiciary.

“Mr Bhushan’s contribution to development of the PIL jurisprudence is immense. He criticises the court because of love and affection for the institution. He did not impute any motives. Please don’t misunderstand him,” Dave had submitted.

“Perhaps you (Bench) would have given him Padma Vibbushan for the work in the last 30 years,” he had mentioned requesting the Bench to not proceed with the felony contempt case.

“Do you think we have broad shoulders?” Justice Mishra had requested.

“You usually have but may be not in this case,” Dave had replied.

He had mentioned nobody, together with judges, can declare infallibility. “Hundreds of people tweeted after the photo was clicked of the CJI riding a bike. Is the court going to charge all of them with contempt?” Dave requested.

On behalf of Twitter, senior counsel Sajan Poovayya had mentioned his shopper was solely an middleman on this case.

“There are 50 crore tweets every day. It’s not possible for us to look at all of them. After the court’s notice we withheld the tweets in question. I (Twitter) should not have been impleaded at all,” Poovayya had submitted.


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