After several hours of argument on Tuesday the Supreme Court reserved its sentencing in lawyer and activist Prashant Bhushan contempt of court case. The Supreme Court is to decide the quantum of punishment after it adjudged Prashant Bhushan guilty of criminal contempt against the Court on August 14 for his tweets on Chief Justice of India Sharad Arvind Bodbe riding a bike and functioning of the top Court.
Earlier, during the hearing Attorney General KK Venugopal urged the top Court to take a compassionate view in sentencing Prashant Bhushan and let him go without any punishment.
Contesting the appeal of the Attorney General Supreme Court said that Bhushan did not apologize for his remark despite the court giving him the time to do so. Moreover, referring to the affidavit submitted on Monday by Bhushan in his defense, the court said that he made disparaging remarks against the top court here as well. “Prashant Bhushan says SC has collapsed, is it not objectionable?” the bench asked the AG.
On Monday, Prashant Bhushan refused to apologize for his tweet which has been pronounced by the Supreme Court as contempt of court, saying it would be contempt of his conscience. Bhushan maintained that he expressed his belief which he continues to hold thus, it would be insincere to apologize while adding, that his was a constructive criticism of the Supreme Court.
“My tweets represented this bonafide belief that I continue to hold. Public expression of these beliefs was I believe, in line with my higher obligations as a citizen and a loyal officer of this court. Therefore, an apology for expression of these beliefs, conditional or unconditional, would be insincere. …If I retract a statement before this court that I otherwise believe to be true or offer an insincere apology, that in my eyes would amount to the contempt of my conscience and of an institution that I hold in highest esteem,” Bhushan said in the affidavit.