The Supreme Court on Friday held advocate Prashant Bhushan guilty of contempt of court for his tweets criticising Chief Justice S.A. Bobde and the judiciary.
The order was passed by a bench of Justices Arun Mishra, B.R. Gavai, and Krishna Murari. The apex court is yet to decide on the quantum of punishment, and the hearing on the sentence is scheduled on August 20.
On July 22, the apex court had issued notice to Bhushan on the alleged contemptuous remarks on Twitter. The top court also asked the Attorney General to assist it on the matter. The apex court had asked Bhushan and Twitter to file a reply by August 5.
“We are, prima facie, of the view that the aforesaid statements on Twitter have brought the administration of justice in disrepute and are capable of undermining the dignity and authority of the Institution of Supreme Court in general and the office of the Chief Justice of India in particular, in the eyes of public at large,” said the court in its order.
The Supreme Court initiated suo motu contempt proceedings against Bhushan for allegedly making derogatory comments against the top court on June 27 in a tweet that alleged that the last four Chief Justices had played a role in the “destruction of democracy” during undeclared “emergency” for the last six years. Another tweet on June 29 alleged that the “present Chief Justice” rode bike in Nagpur “while keeping the apex court in lockdown and denying citizens their right to access to justice”.