Headlines September 1, 2020
SC hold lawyer-activist Prashant Bhushan guilty of contempt
The Supreme Court has held renowned lawyer-activist Prashant Bhushan guilty of contempt for his tweets criticising the Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and the court. Mr Bhushan has been fined ₹ 1 by the top court. If he doesn’t pay the fine by 15 September, he can face jail for three months and a ban from practicing for three years.
“Freedom of speech cannot be curtailed,” said the Supreme Court while handing down the sentence.
“My lawyer & senior colleague Rajiv Dhavan contributed 1 Re immediately after the contempt judgement today which I gratefully accepted,” said the 63-year-old lawyer.
The Supreme Court had asked for an unconditional apology from the lawyer. It said “We gave several opportunities and encouragement to (Prashant Bhushan) to express regret. He not only gave wide publicity to the second statement but also gave various interviews to press.”
The court was referring to Mr Bhushan’s statement refusing to take back his comments or apologise, saying he considered it the discharge of his “highest duty”. He also said that apologising would be contempt of his conscience and the court.
In one of the tweets, Mr Bhushan had said four previous Chief Justices of India played a role in destroying democracy in India in the last six years. Another tweet was that reacting to a photo of Chief Justice Bobde on a Harley Davidson bike last month. he had said he was without a helmet and face mask while keeping the court in lockdown and denying citizens their right to justice.
The Supreme Court had said during arguments that freedom of speech is not absolute. “You may do hundreds of good things, but that doesn’t give you a license to do ten crimes,” the court had said.
Watch in Sign Language
Support us to make NewzHook Sustainable – Make a Contribution Today
We need your continued support to enable us work towards Changing Attitudes towards Disability. Help us in our attempt to share the voices of people with disabilities that enable them to participate in the society on an equal footing!