Senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan, who’s dealing with prison contempt proceedings within the Supreme Court docket over two tweets on Chief Justice of India SA Bobde, regrets solely a “a part of” what he mentioned in his affidavit to the courtroom and says criticism of the highest decide “doesn’t scandalize” the courtroom or decrease its authority.
Prashant Bhushan additionally says to recommend that “the Chief Justice is the Supreme Court docket and the Supreme Court docket is the Chief Justice” is to undermine the establishment of the Supreme Court docket of India.
The lawyer-activist is dealing with contempt for his feedback on visuals of Chief Justice Bobde on a motorcycle. A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra issued a contempt discover suo motu following a petition.
Mr Bhushan mentioned he regretted asking why Justice Bobde was not sporting a helmet, because the bike was on a stand.
“On the outset I admit that I didn’t discover that the bike was on a stand and subsequently sporting a helmet was not required. I subsequently remorse that a part of my tweet. Nonetheless, I stand by the remaining a part of what I’ve acknowledged in my tweet. I tweeted the above as a result of I used to be more and more anguished by the shortage of standard bodily functioning of the courtroom that was resulting in the listening to of only a few issues and that too by the unsatisfactory mode of video conferencing,” he mentioned within the affidavit submitted on Sunday.
“As a result of COVID pandemic, the following lockdown and the humanitarian disaster it had created, with the Supreme Court docket not functioning commonly, entry to justice was critically imperiled,” alleged Mr Bhushan.
The affidavit mentioned the tweet about final 4 Chief Justices of India was his “bonafide impression” about them and it’s his thought-about opinion that “Supreme Court docket allowed the destruction of democracy”. Such expression of opinion, nonetheless “outspoken, unpleasant or unpalatable”, cannot represent contempt, he mentioned.
“To bona fide critique the actions of a Chief Justice or a succession of Chief Justices can’t and doesn’t scandalise the courtroom, nor does it decrease the authority of the courtroom,” the affidavit mentioned.
“What I’ve tweeted is thus my bonafide impression in regards to the method and functioning of the Supreme courtroom up to now years and particularly in regards to the function of the final 4 Chief Justices have performed vis a vis their function in being a verify and steadiness on the powers of the chief, their function in guaranteeing that the supreme courtroom features in a clear and accountable method and was constrained to say that they, contributed to undermining democracy,” the affidavit mentioned.
“Freedom of expression and the concomitant proper to criticise features a honest and sturdy criticism of the judiciary. This can’t quantity to contempt of courtroom or reducing the dignity of the courtroom in any method,” it added.
(with inputs from ANI)