How Will SC’s Order on Bhushan Define Freedom of Speech?

Irrespective of what penalties the SC decides for Bhushan, what does this case mean for the freedom of speech? 

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After a three-hour long hearing, the Supreme Court reserved its order on sentencing in the contempt case related to lawyer-activist Prashant Bhushan's two tweets criticising the judiciary.

The same bench led by Justice Arun Mishra had convicted Bhushan earlier on 14 August but not specified the penalty for this charge. On 20 August, they had given him a few days to re-think his statements, even though Bhushan clearly maintained both at hearing and in a supplementary affidavit filed on 24 August that he doesn't seek mercy and stands by his bona fide opinions.

And that's where the latest hearing took off from.

The 25 August sentencing hearing saw a lot of back and forth, as outgoing judge Arun Mishra reiterated demands for an unconditional apology, while the Attorney General KK Venugopal urged the apex court to show “statesmanship” and let Bhushan off with a warning.

But, irrespective of what penalty the court ultimately decides for Bhushan, what does this case mean for the freedom of speech in India? And what potential legacy can it leave behind for the judiciary? Tune in to The Big Story!

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