Lawyer-activist Prashant Bhushan has said that he will "respectfully pay the fine" after the Supreme Court been fined him Re 1 for his tweets criticising the Chief Justice of India SA Bobde.
Mr Bhushan, 63, has been asked to pay the fine by September 15, failing which he will be sentenced to three months in jail or he cannot work as a lawyer for three years.
Earlier this month, the 63-year-old was found guilty of contempt by the top court, which sought an unconditional apology from the lawyer-activist. Mr Bhushan, however, refused to retract or apologise, maintaining that it would be contempt of his conscience and the court.
His lawyer has argued that that the court must and should take extreme criticism as its "shoulders are broad enough". Attorney General KK Venugopal has also argued against punishment. Maintaining that the judges cannot "go to press to defend themselves or explain," the court cited Mr Bhushan's high standing within the legal system. "Had it been someone else, it was easier to ignore," the court had said.
Here are the Highlights on Prashant Bhushan case:
"The Supreme Court has announced its verdict in the contempt case against me. it has held me in contempt of court. While I reserve my right to seek a review of the convition and the sentence. I propose to submit to this order. I will pay the fine," said Prashant Bhushan.
The judgment drew instant reactions from members of the legal fraternity and politicians, most of whom praised the top court for letting off the lawyer-activist with a "token punishment".
"Without commenting on the merits of the case, the court has shown maturity. It would have been better if he had been forgiven. Court could have given him warning also but this is the best scenario. But this is a symbolic punishment, the minimum prescribed in the law. Court wanted to show majesty of law is Supreme and some punishment had to be given once found guilty. The punishment of Re 1 is token punishment and the rest are default clauses," former Chief Justice of India Justice RM Lodha told NDTV.
The Supreme Court on Monday punishing activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan was unwarranted, former Union Law Minister M Veerapa Moily said and felt that the case against him could have been referred to the Bar Council of India.
The senior Congress leader said that Attorney General K K Venugopal and many jurists and lawyers had urged the Supreme Court not to punish him.
Mr Moily expressed the view that judges should not take upon themselves to punish a person who makes allegations against them.
"It looks as if it was not warranted," he said on the Supreme Court imposing a token fine of one rupee against
Mr Bhushan as punishment in the contempt case against him.
"It's not in keeping with the question of natural justice.It's not in keeping with the high standards of judiciary," he said.
Lawyer-activist Prashant Bhushan was today fined Re 1 by the Supreme Court, two weeks after he was held guilty of contempt for his tweets against Chief Justice SA Bobde and the top court. He had refused to apologize for his remarks." itemprop="description
Lawyer-activist Prashant Bhushan, held guilty of contempt for his tweets criticising Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and the Supreme Court, has been fined Re 1 by the top court."
My lawyer & senior colleague Rajiv Dhavan contributed 1 Re immediately after the contempt judgement today which I gratefully accepted pic.twitter.com/vVXmzPe4ss- Prashant Bhushan (@pbhushan1) August 31, 2020