SC Order on Sentencing in Prashant Bhushan Contempt Case on 31 Aug

The apex court had on Tuesday, 25 August, reserved the verdict on the quantum of sentence to be given to Bhushan.

2 min read
Image of Prashant Bhushan used for representational purposes.

The Supreme Court will pronounce its order on the sentence against activist and lawyer Prashant Bhushan in connection the contempt case relating to his recent tweets about the judiciary on Monday, 31 August.

The apex court had on Tuesday, 25 August, reserved the verdict on the quantum of sentence to be given to Bhushan. A bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra, BR Gavai and Krishna Murari reserved the verdict after a detailed hearing on the matter, IANS reported.

Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for Bhushan, contended before the bench that the top court can say that it does not agree with Bhushan and that he should exercise restraint while making statements in the future.

The judges had given the public interest lawyer and activist time till 24 August, to submit an “unconditional apology”.

Instead of an apology, however, Bhushan submitted a supplementary statement on the day confirming that he will not be making an apology for his tweets about the judiciary, for which the apex court has found him guilty of criminal contempt.

However, Bhushan said that he has a duty, especially as an officer of the court, to speak up when he believes there has been a deviation from the Supreme Court’s “sterling record” when it comes to its key role in India’s democracy.

“Therefore I expressed myself in good faith, not to malign the Supreme Court or any particular Chief Justice, but to offer constructive criticism so that the court can arrest any drift away from its long-standing role as a guardian of the Constitution and custodian of peoples’ rights,” he wrote.

The Supreme Court has wide discretion when it comes to contempt, under Article 129 of the Constitution of India.

It is not bound by the Contempt of Courts Act 1971, and so can even impose more than six months’ imprisonment, and/or a fine for someone held guilty of contempt.

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