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Contempt Verdict Against Prashant Bhushan Suffers From 'Great Imbalances'; Will File Review: Dhavan Tells SC

17 Aug 2020 9:09 AM GMT
Contempt Verdict Against Prashant Bhushan Suffers From Great Imbalances; Will File Review: Dhavan Tells SC
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The August 14 judgment of the Supreme Court holding Advocate Prashant Bhushan guilty of contempt of court for two tweets suffered from 'great imbalances', submitted Dr. Rajeev Dhavan, Senior Advocate, in the Supreme Court on Monday.

Dr.Dhavan was representing Bhushan in another suo moto contempt case taken in 2009 over his allegations in an interview to Tehelka magazine that at least half of sixteen CJIs were corrupt.

At the beginning of the hearing before a bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra, B R Gavai and Krishna Murari, Dhavan told that Bhushan was intending to file a review against the August 14 judgment.

He said that one part of that judgment said that allegations against judges by themselves can amount to contempt while another part said they do not.

The Court on Monday adjourned the hearing of 2009 case till Auugst 24 after stating that the following questions, having larger ramifications, arose in the case :

1. If public statements as to the corruption of judges can be made, in what circumstances they can be made?

2. What is the process to be adopted for making such allegations with respect to sitting and retired judges?

Contempt Verdict Against Prashant Bhushan An Assault On Free Speech : Sr Adv Navroz Seervai [Read Statement]

On August 14, the Supreme Court held Bhushan guilty of criminal contempt for tweeting against the judiciary. One tweet, made in reference to a picture of CJI Bobde seated on a Harley Davidson bike, alleged that the CJI was enjoying expensive bike rides while keeping the Supreme Court under lockdown.

Another tweet alleged that the Supreme Court contributed to the destruction of democracy in the last six years, and the last 4 CJIs played a particular role in that.

The Court held that the tweets were based on "distorted facts" and had the effect of undermining the authority and dignity of the court.

"The tweet has the effect of destabilising the very foundation of this important pillar of the Indian democracy...There is no manner of doubt, that the tweet tends to shake the public confidence in the institution of judiciary", observed a bench of Justices Arun Mishra, B R Gavai and Krishna Murari in the judgment.

[Prashant Bhushan Contempt] If Two Tweets Can Bring Down Court's Authority, Then It Is Not As Strong As We Imagined: Senior Adv Sanjay Hegde

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