SC holds Prashant Bhushan guilty of contempt for tweets against Judiciary, CJI SA Bobde
The Supreme Court has held senior advocate Prashant Bhushan guilty of contempt of court for his tweets against Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and Supreme Court.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday (August 14) held advocate Prashant Bhushan guilty of contempt in a case registered against him over two of his tweets against the court, and chief justice of India (CJI) Sharad Arvind Bobde.
Bhushan had posted two tweets, one on the Supreme Court on June 27 and the second one on CJI Bobde on June 29. He was served notice by the apex court on July 22.
A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra said it would hear the arguments on the quantum of punishment on August 20.
The punishment for contempt of court can go up to six months in jail, or fine, or both.
The top court on August 5 had reserved its verdict in the matter after Bhushan defended his two alleged contemptuous tweets saying they were against the judges regarding their conduct in their personal capacity and they did not obstruct administration of justice.
The first tweet, reproduced in the court, said, “When historians in the future look back at the last six years to see how democracy has been destroyed in India even without a formal Emergency, they will particularly mark the role of the SC in this destruction, and more particularly the role of the last four CJIs.”
The second tweet said, “The CJI rides a Rs 50-lakh motorcycle belonging to a BJP [Bharatiya Janata Party] leader at Raj Bhavan, Nagpur, without wearing a mask or helmet, at a time when he keeps the SC on lockdown mode denying citizens their fundamental right to access justice!”
Senior advocate Dushyant Dave had submitted that Bhushan was only airing bona fide criticism against the judiciary without any malice.
Replying to the contempt notice in a detailed affidavit, Bhushan had stated that expression of bona fide opinion about the Court cannot amount to contempt.He submitted that there were several shortcomings in the functioning of the judiciary, which warranted criticism.