Responding to the Supreme Court verdict asking Prashant Bhushan to pay a token fine of Re 1 for his tweets against the judiciary, the senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan issued a protracted statement, admitting to paying the fine but indicated that he would file a review petition against the order.
“I am here to cheerfully submit to any penalty that can lawfully be inflicted upon me for what the court has determined to be an offence, and what appears to me to be the highest duty of a citizen,” the statement issued by Bhushan said while defending his craven act of capitulating to the court order of paying a nominal fine of Re 1, failing which he could have faced jail for three months and a ban from practising in the Supreme Court for three years.
My Statement on my Contempt order today: I am grateful for the support of countless people: activists, lawyers, judges and fellow citizens who encouraged me to stand firm. I am gratified that it seems to have given strength to many people to stand up &speak out against injustice pic.twitter.com/CvfWIPl1sr— Prashant Bhushan (@pbhushan1) August 31, 2020
While Prashant Bhushan had been quite stubborn in not yielding his principles and offering an unconditional apology to the Supreme Court in a contempt of court case, his eager alacrity to pay a fine of Re 1 ran counter to the inflexibility he had displayed following his conviction.
In his perverse desire to mirror Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela, Prashant Bhushan had mulishly refused to tender an apology to the court despite repeated insistence from the apex court. However, in stark contrast to his earlier stance, Bhushan uncharacteristically accepted the sentence handed out to him, lavishing praises on the Supreme Court.
After making “scurrilous” remarks against the SC, Bhushan claims he never intended to disrespect the top court
Bhushan also added that his tweets were not intended in any way to “disrespect the Supreme Court or the judiciary as a whole, but were merely meant to express my anguish, at what I felt, was a deviation from its sterling past record”.
“I have had the greatest respect for the institution of the Supreme Court. I have always believed it to be the last bastion of hope, particularly for the weak and the oppressed who knock at its door for the protection of their rights, often against a powerful executive,” Bhushan said in the statement.
Bhushan also attempted to link his conviction with the cause of freedom of speech and the need for judicial accountability and reforms. ‘What is very heartening is that this case has become a watershed moment for freedom of speech and seems to have encouraged many people to stand up and speak out against the injustices in our society,” he said.
Prashant Bhushan enthusiastically accepted SC’s punishment of paying fine of Re 1 in the contempt of court case
Earlier today, Prashant Bhushan had taken to Twitter to enthusiastically accept the punishment meted out to him by the Supreme Court. Bhushan stated that his lawyer Rajeev Dhavan had immediately paid up the Rs 1, that the SC had decided as his penalty.
By accepting the punishment, Bhushan has accepted the fact that he was guilty of contempt.
Last month, the top court, in a landmark judgement, held advocate Prashant Bhushan guilty of contempt of court. The case pertained to two tweets where Prashant Bhushan had cast aspersions against the Supreme Court and specifically, CJI Bobde.