Prashant Bhushan to SC: Would be insincere to apologise for tweets that ‘expressed my bona fide perception’

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |

Updated: August 20, 2020 6:03:52 pm

Prashant Bhushan exterior the Supreme Court (File)

Expressing that he was “pained” at being “grossly misunderstood”, advocate Prashant Bhushan Thursday informed the Supreme Court that his tweets, which have been held contemptuous by the court docket, weren’t completed in “absence mindedness” and that he wouldn’t provide an apology for the tweets “that expressed what was and continues to be my bona fide perception”.

On August 14, a three-judge bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra discovered two tweets by Bhushan amounting to “severe contempt of court docket” and delivered a judgment declaring him guilty of criminal contempt. The court docket at this time gave Bhushan two days to “reconsider his defiant statement” refusing to apologise for his tweets.

Appearing earlier than the identical bench, additionally comprising Justices B R Gavai and Krishna Murari, Bhushan mentioned his tweets have been nothing however a small try and discharge what he thought of to be his “highest obligation at this juncture within the historical past of our republic”.


“I didn’t tweet in a match of absence mindedness. It could be insincere and contemptuous on my half to supply an apology for the tweets that expressed what was and continues to be my bona fide perception. Therefore, I can solely humbly paraphrase what the daddy of the nation Mahatma Gandhi had mentioned in his trial: I don’t ask for mercy. I don’t enchantment to magnanimity,” information company PTI quoted Bhushan’s assertion to the court docket.

“I’m right here, subsequently, to cheerfully undergo any penalty that may lawfully be inflicted upon me for what the Court has decided to be an offence, and what seems to me to be the very best obligation of a citizen,” he mentioned.

Bhushan, accompanied by senior attorneys Rajeev Dhavan and Dushyant Dave representing him, mentioned he has gone by means of the August 14 judgment and was pained that he has been held responsible of committing contempt of the Court “whose majesty I’ve tried to uphold — not as a courtier or cheerleader however as a humble guard – for over three many years, at some private {and professional} value”.

“I’m pained, not as a result of I could also be punished, however as a result of I’ve been grossly misunderstood,” he mentioned. “I’m shocked that the court docket holds me responsible of “malicious, scurrilous, calculated assault” on the establishment of administration of justice. I’m dismayed that the Court has arrived at this conclusion with out offering any proof of my motives to launch such an assault,” he added.

Read | Ex-SC judge Kurian Joseph: Constitution Bench must hear Prashant Bhushan contempt of court case

Bhushan mentioned he has been disenchanted that the court docket didn’t discover it essential to serve him with a replica of the criticism on the premise of which the suo motu (by itself) discover was issued, nor discovered it crucial to answer the particular averments made by him in his reply affidavit or the numerous submissions of his counsel.

“I discover it exhausting to consider that the Court finds my tweet “has the impact of destabilizing the very basis of this vital pillar of Indian democracy”. I can solely reiterate that these two tweets represented my bonafide beliefs, the expression of which should be permissible in any democracy,” he mentioned.

Bhushan mentioned that public scrutiny is fascinating for the wholesome functioning of the judiciary itself and he believes that open criticism of any establishment is critical in a democracy, to safeguard the constitutional order.

“We reside by means of that second in our historical past when greater rules should trump routine obligations, when saving the constitutional order should come earlier than private {and professional} niceties, when issues of the current should not are available in the way in which of discharging our duty in the direction of the longer term.

Also Read | 1,500 lawyers to SC: Stop miscarriage of justice in Prashant Bhushan case

“Failing to talk up would have been a dereliction of obligation, particularly for an officer of the court docket like myself,” he mentioned.

The court docket additionally rejected Bhushan’s submission that one other bench ought to be listening to the arguments on the quantum of punishment within the contempt case.

The high court docket had analysed the 2 tweets of Bhushan posted on micro-blogging website Twitter on June 27 on the functioning of judiciary in previous six years, and on July 22 with regard to Chief Justice of India S A Bobde.

“In our thought of view, it can’t be mentioned that the tweets will be mentioned to be a good criticism of the functioning of the judiciary, made bona fide within the public curiosity,” it had mentioned.

(With PTI inputs)

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