Prashant Bhushan contempt case: Supreme Court imposes Re 1 fine on lawyer for derogatory tweets against judiciary

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Updated: Aug 31, 2020 12:47 PM

The Suprme Court had on August 14 held Prashant Bhushan guilty of criminal contempt for his derogatory tweets against the judiciary.

The Supreme Court had on August 14 held Prashant Bhushan guilty of criminal contempt. (file photo)

The Supreme Court on Monday imposed Re 1 fine on lawyer Prashant Bushan in a contempt of court case. A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra said that if Bhushan does not pay the fine by September 15, he will have to undergo three months imprisonment. Also, he will be debarred from practice for three years.

“Freedom of speech can’t be curtailed but rights of others need to be respected,” the SC said.

The apex court had on August 14 held Prashant Bhushan guilty of criminal contempt for his two derogatory tweets against the judiciary, saying they cannot be said to be a fair criticism of the functioning of the judiciary made in public interest.

Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for Bhushan, had last week urged the court to show ‘judicial statesmanship’ and not make his client a ‘martyr’ by punishing him for contempt. Attorney General KK Venugopal had also requested the court to forgive Bhushan with a message that he should not repeat this act.

Bhushan had earlier rejected suggestions from the top court to offer an unconditional apology. Bhushan had said that what he expressed represented his bona fide belief which he continued to hold. After Bhushan’a denial to tender an apology, the top court then reserved its verdict on the sentence to be awarded to him.

 

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