Prashant Bhushan contempt case | Supreme Court to pronounce judgment on August 14

Prashant Bhushan

Prashant Bhushan  

A three-judge Bench led by Justice Arun Mishra is scheduled to pronounce its judgment on Friday in a suo motu contempt case against noted civil rights lawyer Prashant Bhushan for his tweet on a photograph of Chief Justice Sharad A. Bobde astride a bike and another on the role of the apex court in the past six years.

Mr. Bhushan has maintained that the tweets amounted to ‘criticism’ and not contempt. The court had reserved its judgment on August 5 after hearing extensive arguments made by Mr. Bhushan’s lawyer, senior advocate Dushyant Dave.

Also read: Prashant Bhushan old contempt case: SC gives time to lawyers

“If citizens stand up and criticise the system, say everything is not hunky dory, how can it be contempt?” Mr. Dave had asked.

He said hundreds of people had tweeted the photograph of Chief Justice Bobde on the motorbike.

“There are many amusing tweets by others... Is the court going to call them all in?” Mr. Dave had asked.

Also read: Prashant Bhushan contempt case | Supreme Court to pronounce interim orders on August 10

He had argued that Mr. Bhushan’s tweets were driven by anguish. He referred to how some sections of the media generated hate against the members of the Tablighi Jamaat who got sick. He submitted that some recent cases required a timely healing touch from the Supreme Court.

He had highlighted the numerous public interest causes brought to the court by Mr. Bhushan. “There was no malice [in the tweets]. We want the court to be stronger. It is our duty to correct the errors made in some issues," Mr. Dave had said.

He argued that the right to dissent and free speech cannot be controlled by contempt proceedings.

“Contempt is to be used sparingly and only for administration of justice. If a judge is defamed, he should seek relief in the ordinary laws of defamation,” Mr. Dave had submitted.

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Printable version | Sep 25, 2020 3:05:41 PM |

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