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Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Prashant Bhushan’s 2009 contempt case to be heard by new bench

Bhushan, who has already been convicted for criminal contempt for his two tweets, is also facing similar charges for alleged remarks against the judiciary in an interview to Tehelka magazine.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: August 25, 2020 12:23:58 pm
Prashant Bhushan, tarun tejpal, tarun tejpal contempt case, supreme court Prashant Bhushan, Attorney General K K Venugopal Senior advocate Prashant Bhushan. (File)

With Justice Arun Mishra set to retire in the first week of September, a new Supreme Court bench will hear the 2009 contempt case against advocate Prashant Bhushan from next month. The bench headed by Justice Mishra said the matter will be listed before an appropriate bench on September 10 as they are ‘short of time’.

Bhushan, who has already been convicted for criminal contempt for his two tweets, is also facing similar charges for alleged remarks against the judiciary in an interview to Tehelka magazine.

Last week, the Supreme Court said the contempt cast raises some larger, pertinent questions which it would like to examine. “The questions framed by this court have certain ramifications,” a bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra said.

The bench said it would like to hear from the counsel on whether such statements can be made against sitting and former judges, and if so in what circumstance they can be made and what process has to be adopted for this.

Appearing for Bhushan, senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan told the bench, also comprising Justices B R Gavai and Krishna Murari, that corruption allegations per se cannot be contempt.

On Monday, Bhushan firmly stood his ground making it clear to the court that he didn’t want to apologise for his two tweets, saying an insincere apology is “contempt of my conscience”.

He said the tweets “represented” a “bonafide belief that I continue to hold” and “an apology for expression of these beliefs, conditional or unconditional, would be insincere” and “contempt of my conscience”.

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