Lawyer-activist Prashant Bhushan held guilty of contempt for his tweets on Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and the Supreme Court.
“It would be insincere and contemptuous on my part to offer an apology for the tweets that expressed what was and continues to be my bonafide belief,” #PrashantBhushan tells the court https://t.co/bbVHourFEW
— The Hindu (@the_hindu) August 20, 2020
He rejected to apologise after three days span has already been allotted to the veteran lawyer by Supreme Court.
Prashant Bhushan told court as tweets represented a vigilant belief that he is adamant on his apology, conditional or unconditional, would be insincere.
Prashant Bhushan told three benched team, “If I retract a statement before this court that I otherwise believe to be true offer an insincere apology, that in my eyes would amount to the contempt of my conscience and of an institution I hold in highest esteem”
On Thursday, the court had told to reconsider an unconditional apology and gave the 63-year-old a few days to “review” his statement.
“Don’t just apply legal brain here,” Justice Arun Kumar Mishra, who led the bench, had told Mr Bhushan.
He commented that he had not convicted anyone of contempt in 24 years as a judge.
Mr. Bhushan said, “I may reconsider it if my lordships want but there won’t be any substantial change. I don’t want to waste my lordships’ time. I will consult my lawyer.”
Mr Bhushan had confirmed that he considered his tweets the “discharge of highest duty” and that he believes that open criticism is necessary to “safeguard the democracy and its values”.
“I am pained, not because I may be punished, but because I have been grossly misunderstood,” he said. “I am shocked that the court holds me guilty of “malicious, scurrilous, calculated attack” on the institution of administration of justice. I am dismayed that the Court has arrived at this conclusion without providing any evidence of my motives to launch such an attack,” he added.
On 27 June, the top court had realised that the two tweets of Bhushan posted by him on micro-blogging site Twitter on the functioning of judiciary in past six years. As well as on July 22 commented with regard to Chief Justice of India S A Bobde.
SC remarked and said, “In our considered view, it cannot be said that the tweets can be said to be a fair criticism of the functioning of the judiciary, made bona fide in the public interest”