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Prashant Bhushan (file photo)
NEW DELHI: Activist Lawyer Prashant Bhushan Defended in on wednesday Supreme court His two allegedly contemptuous tweets stated that he was against the judges about his conduct in his personal capacity and did not obstruct the administration of justice.
A division bench of justices Arun Mishra, BR Gavai and Krishna Murari issued a show cause notice to Bhushan on July 22, reserved judgment in the criminal contempt case against him for his two alleged derogatory tweets against the judiciary. .
“Heard the senior counsel appearing in the case. The argument was concluded. The judge ordered,” the bench ordered.
While the reservoir in order Contempt caseThe apex court rejected a separate petition filed by Bhushan seeking withdrawal of the July 22 order against him in contempt proceedings initiated against the judiciary for his alleged derogatory tweets. The notice was issued.
During the hearing, the bench did not agree on the arguments of the senior advocate Dushyant Dave, Representing Bhushan, that a separate petition was objected against the way the contempt proceedings were initiated without the opinion of Attorney General KK Venugopal and it was referred to another bench.
Bhushan has sought an instruction to declare that the top court general secretary allegedly acted “unconstitutional and illegally” in accepting the “defective contempt petition” filed against him, which was initially called by the administrative side. And was later placed on the judicial side.
Citing a verdict, the apex court stated that it had complied with the law to make the contempt petition amusing and did not agree that it be referred to another bench for hearing.
“Heard senior counsel (Dave) present in the case. We have not found any basis to entertain this writ petition which has been dismissed accordingly. The pending negotiator application (s) will be rejected,” the order said. gave.
Dave then argued Bhushan in the contempt case and said, “Two tweets were not against the institution. They are against the judges in a personal capacity regarding their conduct. They are not malicious and do not obstruct the administration of justice ”.
Bhushan has made a huge contribution to the development of jurisprudence and “has at least 50 judgments to his credit”, adding that the court has appreciated his contribution in the 2G scam, coal block allocation and mining cases.
Dave said, “You might have given him ‘Padma Vibhushan’ for the work done in the last 30 years.” Saying that this contempt proceeding will not be initiated.
Referring to the ADM Jabalpur case on the suspension of fundamental rights during the Emergency, the senior advocate said that “extremely intolerable” remarks were also made against the judges and no contempt proceedings were taken.
In his 142-page reply affidavit, Bhushan stood by his two tweets and said that Rai’s expression, “though derogatory to some, unbearable or inconsistent”, cannot be contempt of court.
Bhushan has referred to several rulings of the apex court in the affidavit, judges on prior contempt and contempt of court and speeches to “curb dissent” in democracy and in some cases their views on judicial actions.
“Defendant (Bhushan) maintains that the expression of his opinion is, however, derogatory or intolerable to some, but may not amount to contempt of court. The motion is subject to a number of decisions of the Supreme Court and foreigners such as Britain, America and Canada. Has been placed in the courts.
Preventing citizens from demanding accountability and reforms and advocating the same to generate public opinion is not a “reasonable restriction”, the affidavit states that Article 129 cannot be pressed into service to criticize bonfire is.
Referring to Bhushan’s tweet, the apex court had said that these statements were capable of undermining the “dignity and authority” of the Supreme Court institution in general and in the office of the Chief Justice of India in particular. Of the public at large.
Bhushan with former Union Minister Arun Shourie And veteran journalist N Ram has also moved the Supreme Court, challenging the constitutional validity of the legal provision, which calls for criminal contempt to “stigmatize the court”, the right to freedom of speech and equality. Was a violation.
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