BHUSHAN .. No apology, says Bhushan; apex court says his letter is ‘more derogatory’, needs be punished


NEW DELHI: The back-and-forth between lawyer  Prashant Bhushan and the Supreme Court continued for another day on Tuesday, when the court went on record to say Bhushan’s explanation to the court of his tweet of the apex court was “more derogatory,” and he deserved punishment.

Bhusan has refused to apologise for his tweets on Chief Justice SA Bobde and the Supreme Court, saying such a response from him now would amount a “contempt of my conscience” and the court. Bhushan had been given a three-day window of opportunity by the court to apologise for his harsh criticism of the judiciary, which is now allowed in Indian legal system.

Attorney General KK Venugopal, representing the government, said Bhushan should be pardoned with a warning. “Let him go with a warning, tell him ‘please don’t repeat this in future’,” the AG urged the Supreme Court. Justice Arun Mishra wondered how Bhushan’s provocative acts could be ignored.

Bhushan, a publicity-crazy PIL lawyer, has been provoking the apex court repeatedly, the latest being the issuing of a 100-page statement on Monday, in which he refused to apologise and said: “The hopes of the people of India vest in this Court to ensure the rule of law and the Constitution and not an untrammeled rule of the executive.” 

Notably, many eyes were turned on to the likes of Prashant Bhushan when the retired Supreme Court Chief Justice Justice Ranjan Gogoi stated that vested interest in the corridors of the apex court, meaning some senior lawyers, often formed into a lobby and sought to influence judgements, and raised a row when things did not happen the way they wanted.

Bhushan specializes in Public Interest Litigations. He is seen as part of the leftist groups taking on the Modi government, and significantly there has been an organised attempt from this side to thwart any contempt action against Bhushan in the present context. Signatures of some 150 lawyers from across the country were organised to urge the apex court to leave Bhushan alone. IHN-NN


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