Digging his heels in, senior advocate Prashant Bhushan, who is held guilty of contempt for his scurrilous tweets on the Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and past CJIs, has refused to tender an apology for his remarks as the three-day time window given by the court to reconsider his statements ended today.
Advocate Prashant Bhushan issues a Supplementary Statement in the Suo Moto Contempt case initiated against him by the Supreme Court for two tweets. @pbhushan1 #ContemptofCourt pic.twitter.com/3VF1awdJrK— Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) August 24, 2020
Prashant Bhushan refuses to budge from his stand
Refusing to offer an apology in line with the Supreme Court order of August 20 where he was adjudged guilty of contempt of court, Prashant Bhushan issued a supplementary statement in the case, alleging that “offering an insincere apology would amount to a contempt of his conscience and of an institution that he holds in the highest esteem”.
Prashant Bhushan defended himself in front of the three-judge bench hearing the case, claiming that he considered his tweets as the “discharge of highest duty” and that his tweets were expressed in “good faith”, not to malign the apex court or any particular Chief Justice. Bhushan contended that he offered “constructive criticism” so that the court can arrest any drift away from its long-standing role as a preserver of the Constitution and custodian of people’s rights.
“My tweets represented this bonafide belief that I continue to hold…Therefore, an apology for expression of this belief, conditional or unconditional, would be insincere,” Bhushan said.
Bhushan’s bid to appear as modern-day Gandhi
A few days ago, Bhushan had posted an unassuming tweet where he refused to be compared to Gandhiji and Mandela, claiming that such comparison is misplaced and that he had done nothing compared to what the two great men did.
Due to my refusal to apologise for my tweets&for quoting from Gandhi,some people have started comparing me with Gandhi&Mandela. This is misplaced. They became great due to long struggle&sacrifice.I have done nothing comparable. My courage is due to the support of countless people— Prashant Bhushan (@pbhushan1) August 21, 2020
However, just days later, the supreme court advocate held guilty of contempt, shared an article on how Gandhiji too had refused to offer an apology and decided to face the contempt the proceeding. The uncanny similarity between the two cases is hard to miss.
“When Gandhiji faced contempt proceedings & refused to apologise”https://t.co/zpUJAIUfBr— Prashant Bhushan (@pbhushan1) August 22, 2020
Perhaps, in his bid to portray himself as the modern-day Gandhi and Mandela, Prashant Bhushan has resolutely stood by his remarks that raised aspersions on the Chief Justices of India and the Supreme Court. By drawing a parallel with Gandhiji, Bhushan possibly attempts to exculpate himself of his contemptuous remarks against the top court, and paint the Supreme Court as the unjust oppressor.