New Delhi: Several prominent lawyers and the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative of India (CHRI) have issued separate statements criticising the Supreme Court for finding senior advocate Prashant Bhushan guilty of contempt of court.
Prashant Bhushan is a public interest lawyer in the Supreme Court of India. He was a member of the faction of India against corruption.
He also supported Anna Hazare’s campaign for the implementation of the Jan Lokpal Bill. He justified his statement adding the name of father of nation Mahatma Gandhi.
CHRI said that the verdict is a sign of the “current deterioration in the state of free speech in the country”. It said that even if Bhushan’s tweets, for which he was found in contempt, are “uncharitable or inappropriate”, bypassing the judgment, the SC has sent a chilling message about the cost of criticism.
The Supreme Court of India on Thursday asked lawyer Prashant Bhushan to not cross the “Lakshman Rekha in the zeal of overdoing” while hearing a case against him in contempt of court and insult of the judiciary.
“I stand by my tweets. I do not ask for mercy. I do not ask for magnanimity. I shall submit cheerfully to whatever punishment the court imposes on me lawfully. What I said in the tweet is my bonafide belief,” he told the apex court.
He is one of the founders of Swaraj Abhiyan and Sambhaavnaa an Institute of Public Policy and Politics.
Supreme court gave time to for considering his thought but he is not getting back and firm with his tweet and recommended “I stand by my tweets. I do not ask for mercy. I do not ask for magnanimity. I shall submit cheerfully to whatever punishment the court imposes on me lawfully. What I said in the tweet is my bonafide belief.”