The Supreme Court of India on Monday announced its verdict on contempt of court case against lawyer-activist Prashant Bhushan. The court held 63-year-old him guilty of contempt for his tweets criticising the Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and the Supreme Court.
The court has ordered him to pay Rs 1 as fine failing which will lead to three months in jail or he cannot work as a lawyer for three years.
In a nutshell, the court finds him guilty of jeopardizing the image of the Court by accusing the former and present Chief Justices and the Court itself of wrongdoings in two tweets.
However, people argued that the Supreme Court must accept such criticism for if it won’t, there would be no authority to question its doing. Another clan of people claimed that criticising the court is only liable if you have proofs against its wrongdoings if any, which Prashant Bhushan hasn’t presented.
In the last hearing, the Court has said that it is ready to let go of the case if Bhushan apologies to the former. However, his lawyer has argued that that the court must and should take extreme criticism as its “shoulders are broad enough”. He had also urged the court to let go of Bhushan with a warning for he was practicing his right to expression and speech for the bettered of the institution.
“Bhushan’s tweets seek the improvement of the administration of justice… Let democracy follow in this case when he has exercised his free speech… It will be tremendously appreciated if the court leaves it at that,” he had said.
The court while announcing the verdict said that if anyone has an issue with Chief Justices, he/she is free to approach the in-house route to file a complaint against him/her.
“SC precedents say that the in-house procedure should be adopted for complaints of corruption against judges,” Justice Arun Mishra said while reading the sentencing order.#PrashantBhushan https://t.co/G8Goqtu7LV— The Wire (@thewire_in) August 31, 2020
Prashant Bhushan has said he will take a “collective decision” on whether to pay the fine or confront the other options.