Synopsis: Last week, the Supreme Court held lawyer Prashant Bhushan to be guilty of contempt of court in the case relating to his demeaning tweets on Chief Justice of India, Arvind S Bobde.
Advocate Prashant Bhushan will move the Supreme Court to seek a review on the judgement of the Apex Court, pronounced on 14th August, convicting him for contempt of court.
Senior counsel Rajeev Dhavan, representing Bhushan in a separate contempt case that dates back to 2009, told to the bench of Justices Arun Mishra, BR Gavai, and Krishna Murari, it appears that the 14th August judgment, is suffering from many imbalances. The judgment in several sections says that complaints against judges per se, do not constitute disrespect, and it is on this ground that a summary of the judgment can be demanded.
On Friday, the Supreme Court found Bhushan guilty of contempt of court for his tweets criticizing CJI SA Bobde and earlier this year, the judiciary. A suo motu case of contempt, against Bhushan had been filed by the top court over those two tweets.
In June this year the two tweets in question were released. The first tweet referred to Bhushan’s commentary on a high-end motorcycle photo of CJI Bobde, while Bhushan’s view on the role of the last four CJIs in the country’s state of affairs was shared in the second.
The judgement of contempt in Prashant Bhushan’s Supreme Court stated that if such an attack is not dealt with, national dignity and reputation may be affected.
While defending his remarks, Bhushan had also challenged in an interview with Tehelka magazine, the unexpected naming of an 11-year-old case of contempt pending against him for his claims on corruption in the judiciary. The Court decided to hear the case on merits on 10th August.
During today’s hearing in the 2009 case, Dhavan informed that a review would challenge the earlier verdict finding Bhushan guilty of contempt.
The 11-year-old case of contempt has been scheduled for a hearing next week, after the court has found answers to some broader concerns about the appropriate scope of remarks concerning claims against a judge.
Dhavan submitted to the court that today’s hearing is about whether or not the claims raised by his client, Prashant Bhushan, constitute contempt for the particular issue. He said that such issues must be referred to a tribunal of the Constitution. Senior advocate and former Law Minister, Shanti Bhushan, suggested that the matter should be heard when the court begins to function physically.
Today, the Supreme Court had raised questions with regard to 2009 contempt case that is currently before it. While, setting the case for further scrutiny, the bench said that when comments on ‘judicial misconduct’ are made in public, what conditions should they be made upon, and arguments on this issue would also be considered.
Last week, the Supreme Court holding Bhushan guilty in another contempt of court trial, questions over the magnitude of sentencing that are expected to take effect on 20th August.