A day after Supreme Court held activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan guilty of criminal contempt for his two derogatory tweets against the judiciary, on Saturday Bhushan was at it again. He posted another tweet and asked how far has India come from the land its freedom fighters fought to build.
Taking to Twitter, Prashant Bhushan wrote: "On Indep day, recall what our Freedom fighters fought to build. An egalitarian, multi-religious/cultural society, where we would be the rulers & all public servants including Ministers &Judges would be our servants. We could correct them when they erred. How far have we come from that?"
A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra on Friday said that it would hear on August 20 the arguments on quantum of sentence to be awarded to Bhushan in the matter. A contemnor can be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend up to six months or with a fine of up to Rs 2,000 or with both.
Holding that Bhushan attempted to scandalise the entire institution of the Supreme Court, the top court on Friday said: "If such an attack is not dealt with, with requisite degree of firmness, it may affect the national honour and prestige in the comity of nations".
A bench of Justices Arun Mishra, B R Gavai and Krishna Murari said: "The tweets which are based on the distorted facts, in our considered view, amount to committing criminal contempt. In the result, we hold alleged contemnor No.1 - Mr. Prashant Bhushan guilty of having committed criminal contempt of this Court".
The tweets in question were critical of the top court and posted by Bhushan on Twitter on June 27 and June 29. The June 27 tweet said, “When historians in future look back at the last 6 years to see how democracy has been destroyed in India even without a formal Emergency, they will particularly mark the role of the Supreme Court in this destruction, & more particularly the role of the last 4 CJIs.”
The June 29 tweet included a photo of CJI S.A. Bobde riding a Harley Davidson motorcycle, and said, “CJI rides a 50 lakh motorcycle belonging to a BJP leader at Raj Bhavan, Nagpur, without a mask or helmet, at a time when he keeps the SC in Lockdown mode denying citizens their fundamental right to access Justice!”
(Inputs from Agencies)