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SC holds Prashant Bhushan guilty of contempt; next hearing to decide sentence

This judgment came in the suo moto case against the senior advocate for posting tweets about the court and the Chief Justice of India

Sabrangindia 14 Aug 2020

Prashant bhushan

The Supreme Court held Senior Advocate Prashant Bhushan guilty of criminal contempt in the suo moto case registered against him for two tweets posted by him about the Supreme Court and the current Chief Justice of India.

LiveLaw reported that Justice BR Gavai while reading out the judgment said that Bhushan committed serious contempt of court. The bench will hear him on sentence on August 20.

The matter was heard by a bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra, BR Gavai and Krishna Murari and the judgment was reserved on August 5 when Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave had argued at length.

One tweet about the Supreme Court read as follows:

“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 other tweet was accompanied with a picture of CJI SA Bobde on a bike and read:

“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 the suo moto contempt notice issued to Bhushan on July 22, the bench had stated that the tweets “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”.

Bhushan, in an affidavit in response filed in this case, had said that his “criticism has been outspoken yet it has been carefully weighed and made with the highest sense of responsibility”. He also said that “to assume or suggest that ‘the CJI is the SC, and the SC is the CJI’ is to undermine the institution of the Supreme Court of India.”

The social media has responded to this quick disposal and judgment in the contempt case, where access to justice to the common man has been limited due to restricted functioning of the court.

 

 

Some like Rajdeep Sardesai also pointed out how important matters like habeas corpus petitions have been pending with the court and were not yet decided.

 

 

There is another contempt case against Bhushan pending since 2010. This case was pertaining to an interview given by Bhushan to Tehelka magazine way back in 2009 where he had said that half of the last 16 Chief Justices of India (CJI) were corrupt, while also maintaining in the interview that he has no proof for his allegations. The Court has decided to hear the case on merits.


The judgment may be read here. 

 

Related:

Prashant Bhushan contempt case: A mute hearing

SC to hear 2009 contempt of court case against Prashant Bhushan on merits

SC petition challenging criminal contempt withdrawn

 

SC holds Prashant Bhushan guilty of contempt; next hearing to decide sentence

This judgment came in the suo moto case against the senior advocate for posting tweets about the court and the Chief Justice of India

Prashant bhushan

The Supreme Court held Senior Advocate Prashant Bhushan guilty of criminal contempt in the suo moto case registered against him for two tweets posted by him about the Supreme Court and the current Chief Justice of India.

LiveLaw reported that Justice BR Gavai while reading out the judgment said that Bhushan committed serious contempt of court. The bench will hear him on sentence on August 20.

The matter was heard by a bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra, BR Gavai and Krishna Murari and the judgment was reserved on August 5 when Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave had argued at length.

One tweet about the Supreme Court read as follows:

“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 other tweet was accompanied with a picture of CJI SA Bobde on a bike and read:

“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 the suo moto contempt notice issued to Bhushan on July 22, the bench had stated that the tweets “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”.

Bhushan, in an affidavit in response filed in this case, had said that his “criticism has been outspoken yet it has been carefully weighed and made with the highest sense of responsibility”. He also said that “to assume or suggest that ‘the CJI is the SC, and the SC is the CJI’ is to undermine the institution of the Supreme Court of India.”

The social media has responded to this quick disposal and judgment in the contempt case, where access to justice to the common man has been limited due to restricted functioning of the court.

 

 

Some like Rajdeep Sardesai also pointed out how important matters like habeas corpus petitions have been pending with the court and were not yet decided.

 

 

There is another contempt case against Bhushan pending since 2010. This case was pertaining to an interview given by Bhushan to Tehelka magazine way back in 2009 where he had said that half of the last 16 Chief Justices of India (CJI) were corrupt, while also maintaining in the interview that he has no proof for his allegations. The Court has decided to hear the case on merits.


The judgment may be read here. 

 

Related:

Prashant Bhushan contempt case: A mute hearing

SC to hear 2009 contempt of court case against Prashant Bhushan on merits

SC petition challenging criminal contempt withdrawn

 

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