Prashant Bhushan fined Rs.1/- for contempt by Supreme Court Featured

Written by  Aug 31, 2020

The Supreme Court on Monday imposed a fine of Re 1 on lawyer Prashant Bhushan for the offense of criminal contempt of court for his tweets criticizing the top court and Chief Justice of India (CJI), SA Bobde.

 

A three-judge bench headed by justice Arun Mishra ruled Bhushan will have to deposit the fine with the court’s registry by September 15. If Bhushan does not pay the fine, he will have to undergo a jail term of three months and will also be debarred from legal practice for three years, it said.

The top court had on August 14 found Bhushan guilty for putting out the two tweets.

The case took 40 days to reach a conclusion from the date of its first hearing. It was registered on July 9 and the first hearing in the matter was held on July 22.

Here is what the top court said on Monday:

  • “We gave him several opportunities to express regret. The Attorney General also asked the court to close the case once he tenders an apology,” the bench observed.

  • The bench also states no such apology was offered by Bhushan.

  • The court also took exception to the fact that Bhushan frequently went to the press even when the case was pending and gave wide publicity to his statements and gave interviews to the media about the case.

  • Bhushan’s past conduct was also taken into account with the court observing that it had initiated contempt cases against Bhushan on previous occasions too for his statements.

  • “Publication of statements in the press by the contemnor before they were submitted before this court was done to interfere with judicial functioning,” the bench which also comprised justice BR Gavai and justice Krishna Murari said.

  • Bhushan had posted two tweets, one against the Supreme Court on June 27 and another against CJI Bobde on June 29.

  • Bhushan’s first tweet 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 referred to CJI Bobde. “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!” it said.

 

Source: Hindustan Times

 

 

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