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Comments were founded on facts: Prashant Bhushan seeks review of conviction

Prashant Bhushan, in his review petition filed in the SC against his conviction and fine in a suo motu contempt of court case, said that his comments were made in good faith and founded on facts

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Prashant Bhushan

Senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan, in his review petition filed in the against his conviction and fine in a suo motu contempt of court case, said that his comments and opinion were made in good faith and founded on facts.

"Similar opinions were made in many occasions before as demonstrated by the Attorney General before the In the present controversy, similar comments are also made by Justices (all retired now) Madan Bhimrao Lokur, Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Ajit Prakash Shah, and veteran journalist, Arun Shourie and others in the public domain and reported by newspapers and TV," Bhushan said in his review petition.

Bhushan, in his review petition, also sought an open court hearing and stated that the suo motu contempt plea should not have been heard by Justice (now retired) Arun Mishra.

"We need to ask whether they are also to be held guilty of contempt as also others in the press because repeating or supporting a statement is also a publication. Justice Lodha has also criticised the Court's order, Bhushan asked and raised this question in his review petition.

"It would follow that they were all in contempt. There should not be any attempt to coerce the contemnor into making an apology on the basis that nothing else would be acceptable," Bhushan said in his review petition.

He submitted that the judgment, which convicted him of contempt, should be recalled suo motu and added that in any event, no sentence should be imposed.

"There can be little doubt that the opinions made by me were bonafide and devoid of malice. Thus a case is made out for recalling the conviction order and not inflicting or awarding punishment," the review plea said.

"Many comments have been made in the past about corruption in the and that things do not augur well for the Court. These include ex-Chief Justice Bharucha," it added.

Earlier, Bhushan said that he will submit the fine in the registry today but had added that it doesn't mean he accepts the Supreme Court's judgement.

Bhushan was convicted and a fine of Re 1 was imposed on him by the Supreme Court in connection with a suo motu criminal contempt of court case over two of his tweets.

One of the tweets, posted on June 29, was related to his post on a picture of Chief Justice of India (CJI) Sharad Arvind Bobde on a high-end bike. In his second tweet, Bhushan had expressed his opinion on the role of the last four CJIs amid the state of affairs in the country.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court is also hearing another contempt of court case against Bhushan for his interview to a magazine in 2009 in which he was quoted as saying that half of the 16 former Chief Justices of India (CJIs) were corrupt.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Mon, September 14 2020. 20:04 IST
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