New Delhi: The Supreme Court Friday found advocate Prashant Bhushan guilty of “serious contempt” for two of his tweets on Chief Justice of India (CJI) S.A. Bobde and former CJIs.
The bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra, B.R. Gavai and Krishna Murari said it will hear arguments on the punishment, which can go up to a maximum of 6 months in jail, on 20 August.
The court had initiated contempt proceedings against Bhushan on 21 July. In one of his tweets, Bhushan had commented on CJI Bobde’s photo astride a Harley Davidson bike. In the second tweet, he had criticised the incumbent and past CJIs.
The same bench had on 10 August also refused to accept his explanation for his interview to Tehelka magazine in 2009, when he had made allegations of corruption against past CJIs. It decided to proceed with the decade-old contempt case against him, and the hearing will begin from 17 August.
Also read: Shourie, Bhushan, N Ram withdraw plea filed in SC challenging validity of criminal contempt
Apologised for part of Harley tweet featuring CJI Bobde
Earlier this month, Bhushan had apologised for a portion of his tweet on CJI Bobde even as he stood by the rest of his tweets on Bobde and former CJIs.
Apologising for his 29 June tweet featuring a photograph of CJI Bobde “riding” a Harley Davidson bike, Bhushan said he regrets mentioning that the CJI was not wearing a helmet as he had not noticed that the bike was stationary.
“At the outset I admit that I did not notice that the bike was on a stand and therefore wearing a helmet was not required. I therefore regret that part of my tweet,” he submitted in an affidavit filed in response to the contempt notice issued to him.
About his other tweets, however, Bhushan had said they were his “bonafide impression about the manner and functioning of the Supreme Court in the past years”.
He had reiterated his criticism over the restricted functioning of the Supreme Court during the lockdown and pandemic, and said bonafide critique of the actions of the CJI cannot and does not scandalise the court.
Also read: Why contempt case against Prashant Bhushan in Supreme Court could set a bad precedent
Prashant Bhushan us more a rebel politician than a lawyer. He should not be left scott free. He should be penalised to maximum as per law.
TS Darbari- Prashant Bhushan has committed a serious mistake and he must apologize; however, he is like any other anarchist who loves to stay in news because he himself knows that he has become redundant in Indian politics and getting no attention from anywhere; therefore, he needs to do these stunts to earn the attention of media. He also knows that his companions have left him alone at the age when he is of no more use. What will this old guy do at home. SC needs to be very strict on such unsocial elements who always create a ruckus. #TSDarbari #TS_Darbari #Darbari_TS TS Darbari
The SC should either be extremely lenient on Shri Prashant Bhushan and fine him just Re 1 or should send him to jail for the maximum period. Anything in between would make him a martyr, which is exactly what he wants to be as a serial offender.
You were right… knowledge is Power.
We must all bow in reverence to the finality of a judgment of the honourable apex court. However, there is also a court of public opinion, in which Shri Prashant Bhushan is held in the highest esteem, for a lifetime’s body of fine public service. He too could have chosen to defend rich clients and filled his garage with Bentleys.
Last few years, Prashant Bhushan has stepped on one too many judicial toes. His apology for part of tweet is not honest. Anyone could have seen that the motorcycle was stationery. The point is that he indulged in personal attack against CJI as far that portion. As for the rest of the one and half tweet, it is court’s decision. It is still possible that the court may be lenient in sentencing, say prison until the court raises, or for 24 hours.
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