BREAKING: SC fines Prashant Bhushan Re 1 in tweet related contempt case

The senior advocate and human rights defender had refused to retract or apologise for his tweets against SC and CJI

Prashant bhushan

The Supreme Court delivered its verdict in the contempt of court case against senior advocate and human rights defender Prashant Bhushan on Monday, August 31. The court fined him one rupee that he must deposit with the Registry by September 15, failing which he would be required to serve a three-month sentence and be debarred from practicing law for three months.

The verdict was pronounced by a bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra, B R Gavai and Krishna Murari. LiveLaw reported that the SC held that Prashant Bhushan’s act of releasing his statement to the press before the consideration of the same by the court amounted to interference with the administration of justice.

On the subject of Bhushan’s refusal to either retract his statement or issue an apology, LiveLaw reported that the SC also observed, “In the matter also, we not only have an opportunity but also directly and indirectly persuaded the contemnor to express regret. This was not heeded to by the contemnor and he gave wide publicity to his statements.”



High drama had ensued at the previous hearing where the Attorney General himself had appealed that Bhushan be forgiven and warned, instead of being punished. Therefore, the very regime against whom Bhushan has stood up on multiple occasions while defending rights of oppressed and marginalized people, appeared to be playing on the backfoot.

Bhushan for his part had, in a supplementary statement, submitted that, “Today in these troubling times, 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. This casts a duty, especially for an officer of this court like myself, to speak up, when I believe there is a deviation from its sterling record.” He added, “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.” Bhushan went on to say, “An apology cannot be a mere incantation and any apology has to, as the court has itself put it, be sincerely made.” He concluded saying, “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.”

Meanwhile civil society, activists and lawyers had been rallying behind Bhushan demanding justice for him in the case where he had posted two tweets that were deemed contempt of court by the Supreme Court.


Prashant Bhushan contempt sentencing: Court should forgive him or warn him, says AG

Insincere apology, a contempt of my conscience: Prashant Bhushan

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