SC imposes ₹1 fine against Prashant Bhushan in contempt case

PTI New Delhi | Updated on August 31, 2020

Say freedom of speech can’t be curtailed, but rights of others need to be respected

The Supreme Court has imposed a token fine of ₹1 against activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan as punishment in a contempt case.

Bhushan, who has been convicted for two tweets against the judiciary, has to deposit the fine with the court registry by September 15, said a Bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra. Failure to do so would lead to a three-month jail term and debarment from law practice for three years, the apex court said.

The Bench, also comprising Justices BR Gavai and Krishna Murari, said freedom of speech cannot be curtailed but rights of others need to be respected.

On August 14, the apex court had held Bhushan guilty of criminal contempt for his two derogatory tweets against the judiciary and said they cannot be said to be a fair criticism of the functioning of the judiciary made in public interest.

Bhushan in his statement had refused to offer an apology to the Supreme Court for the tweets, saying what he had expressed represented his bona fide belief which he continued to hold.

Published on August 31, 2020

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