Supreme Court holds Prashant Bhushan guilty of contempt for tweets against court, CJI SA Bobde
Bhushan had posted two tweets, one on the Supreme Court on June 27 and the second one on CJI Bobde on June 29. He was served notice by the apex court on July 22.Updated: Aug 14, 2020 11:43 IST
The Supreme Court on Friday held lawyer Prashant Bhushan guilty of contempt for tweets against the court, and chief justice of India (CJI) Sharad Arvind Bobde.
Bhushan had posted two tweets, one on the Supreme Court on June 27 and the second one on CJI Bobde on June 29. He was served notice by the apex court on July 22.
The top court had on August 5 reserved its verdict in the matter after Bhushan defended his two alleged contemptuous tweets saying they were against the judges regarding their conduct in their personal capacity and they did not obstruct administration of justice.
The first tweet, reproduced in the court, 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 said: “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!”
Bhushan, in his affidavit, regretted saying Bobde was not wearing a helmet. He added he failed to notice the bike was stationary and that the CJI was not riding but merely sitting on it.
On July 22, the top court had issued a show cause notice to Bhushan after initiating the criminal contempt against him for his two tweets.
Another suo motu contempt petition is also pending before the same three-judge bench against Bhushan for calling past CJIs corrupt in a 2009 interview to Tehelka magazine. Bhushan had offered an explanation but the Supreme Court refused to accept the same and ruled, on August 10, that it will hear the matter in detail. That case is now listed for hearing on August 17.