New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday held advocate-activist Prashant Bhushan guilty of contempt of court for his tweets against Chief Justice of India SA Bobde.
A three-judge bench comprising of Justices Arun Mishra, B R Gavai, and Krishna Murari said, “Bhushan was found to have committed serious contempt, and the hearing for punishment in the case will be held on August 20.”
The punishment for contempt of court can go up to six months in jail, or fine, or both.
The bench, prima facie, observed, “his [Prashant Bhushan] tweets have brought disrepute to the administration of justice and are capable of undermining the dignity and authority of the Supreme Court in general and the office of the Chief Justice of India in particular, in the eyes of the general public.”
Earlier, the apex court on August 5 reserved its verdict after the activist defended his two alleged tweets saying, “they were against the judges regarding their conduct in their personal capacity and they did not obstruct the administration of justice.”
Reacting to the tweets made, the apex court on July 22 issued a show-cause notice to Bhushan and initiated a criminal contempt.
Replying to the contempt notice in a detailed affidavit, Bhushan had stated that expression of bona fide opinion about the Court cannot amount to contempt. He submitted that there were several shortcomings in the functioning of the judiciary, which warranted criticism.
As regards his tweet about Chief Justice of India, S A Bobde, seated on a Harley Davidson motorcycle, Bhushan said in the affidavit that his comment was to underline his anguish at the non-physical functioning of the Supreme Court for the last more than three months, “as a result of which fundamental rights of citizens, such as those in detention, those destitute and poor, and others facing serious and urgent grievances were not being addressed or taken up for redressal.”