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Tweets amounted to ‘criticism’ and not contempt, Prashant Bhushan tells Supreme Court

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Noted civil rights lawyer Prashant Bhushan maintained within the Supreme Court that his tweets in June of {a photograph} displaying Chief Justice Sharad A. Bobde astride a motorcycle and the court docket’s position up to now six years amounted to ‘criticism’ and not contempt.

Also learn: Supreme Court points discover to Prashant Bhushan over tweets

“This is criticism… Why don’t you take it objectively?” senior advocate Dushyant Dave, for Mr. Bhushan, requested a three-judge Bench led by Justice Arun Mishra on Wednesday.

Mr. Dave mentioned a sitting choose, who went on to turn into a CJI, had ‘criticised’ the functioning of the Supreme Court in a presser in January 2018. Justice Ranjan Gogoi, one of many 4 judges who had met the media, went on to turn into the 46th Chief Justice and Justice Bobde’s rapid predecessor.

Justice Mishra requested whether or not Mr. Dave was justifying the press convention or what was mentioned in it.

“The holding of January 2018 press conference was fully justified. If the then CJI was not listening to their points, what could they do? If citizens stand up and criticise the system, say everything is not hunky-dory, how can it be contempt?” the senior lawyer requested.

Also Read | Scandalising as contempt: On proceedings against Prashant Bhushan

He mentioned a whole bunch of individuals had tweeted the {photograph} of Chief Justice Bobde on the bike. “There are many amusing tweets by others… Is the court going to call them all in?” Mr. Dave requested.

Driven by anguish

He mentioned Mr. Bhushan’s tweets had been pushed by anguish. He referred to how some sections of the media generated hate in opposition to the members of the Tablighi Jamaat who received sick. He submitted that some latest circumstances required a well timed therapeutic contact from the Supreme Court.

“You are both mother and father to a 100 crore people! You are their parents… You alone can do something for the people,” Mr. Dave submitted in court docket.

He referred to the judgments within the Rafale and Ayodhya title dispute circumstances. He recalled how a Supreme Court choose had sat in his personal trigger on a Saturday. He questioned when the Justice A.Okay. Patnaik report on the “larger conspiracy” in opposition to judiciary would come out.

Also learn: Expression of opinion or anguish is not contempt amounting to scandalising the court docket: Prashant Bhushan tells SC

“These are serious issues striking at the core of the judiciary. Anyone would be anguished,” Mr. Dave mentioned.

He spoke of the quite a few public curiosity causes introduced to court docket by Mr. Bhushan. “There was no malice [in the tweets]. We want the court to be stronger. It is our duty to correct the errors made in some issues,” Mr. Dave mentioned.

He argued that the fitting to dissent and free speech can’t be managed by contempt proceedings.

“Contempt is to be used sparingly and only for administration of justice. If a judge is defamed, he should seek relief in the ordinary laws of defamation,” Mr. Dave submitted.

He referred to how within the notorious Spycatcher case within the U.Okay., a paper carried a caricature of the judges drawn the wrong way up. However, no contempt was drawn.

“The court cannot succumb to easy irritability,” Mr. Dave emphasised, referring to judgments of the Supreme Court itself courting again to the 1950s.

Also learn: Supreme Court reserves orders in Prashant Bhushan contempt case

Justice Mishra intervened to say the court docket has broad shoulders.

“This case is not about winning or losing. No one wins or loses in such cases,” Justice Mishra mentioned.

The Bench lastly reserved the suo motu contempt case for orders.

Rrefuses to entertain writ petition

It individually refused to entertain a writ petition by Mr. Bhushan that the suo motu contempt motion was issued on the idea of a ‘defective’ petition illegally listed by the Supreme Court Registry earlier than the Justice Mishra Bench.

“We have followed the law,” Justice Mishra mentioned categorically, dismissing the writ plea.

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