SC Judges Undo Bhushan’s Gandhian Vow
Prashant Bhushan is stumped by the Supreme Court, it appears.
The apex court’s verdict has made Bhushan break his vow of not accepting his guilt of casting aspersions on the Supreme Court, especially CJI SA Bobde.
“I propose to submit to the order and respectfully pay the fine,” Bhushan said holding a Re 1 coin in a press conference.
Bhushan said he had always believed that Supreme Court is the “last bastion of hope for the weak and oppressed” and that he never intended to hurt the judiciary, but wanted to express his anguish on a deviation from its record.
Until the pronouncement, Bhushan had refused to accept his guilt.
During the hearing, Bhushan had paraphrased Mahatma Gandhi’s statements in his trial. He had said: “I do not ask for mercy. I do not appeal to magnanimity. I am here, therefore, 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.”
Gandhi had refused to seek mercy and faced contempt proceedings in a 1922 sedition case.
In its verdict today, the court today asked Bhushan to pay a nominal fine of Re 1 and added that if he fails to pay up, he will be sentenced to three months in jail and suspended from practicing for three years.
The top court had last week reserved its judgment in the case.
The contempt case was filed by Supreme Court advocate Mehek Maheshwari, who has the distinction of working in Subramanian Swamy’s office as an associate.
Maeshwari has also assisted in cases such as National Herald, Ram Mandir Ayodhya, Sunanda Pushkar Murder, Delhi IIT, Tirupati temple etc, according to his LinkedIn profile.
The Attorney General KK Venugopal and defence lawyer Dr Dhawan had suggested that the court should not make Bhushan a martyr and instead forgiven him with a warning.
Last month, the court had held Bhushan guilty of contempt of court. The case pertained to two tweets where he had cast aspersions against the Supreme Court and specifically, CJI Bobde.
The court had granted time for Bhushan to consider apologising for his derogatory tweets. However, the top lawyer refused to apologise by portraying himself as Mahatma Gandhi. He had claimed tendering an apology would tantamount to “contempt of his conscience.”
Bhushan, on the flipside, submitted a supplementary statement, refusing to apologise.
But, the court interestingly put two options before Bhushan. The options of going to jail or accepting his guilt paying Re 1 penalty.
We just cannot stop admiring the apex court’s smartness.
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