Expressing opinion even if unpalatable, not contempt: Bhushan

It is a bona fide view that I can form, hold and express under my fundamental right to speech, Bhushan said. “Such expression of opinion however outspoken, disagreeable or however unpalatable, cannot constitute contempt of court.”

Agencies
The top court has issued contempt notices to him suo motu on a petition filed by a lawyer drawing its attention to the tweets.
Activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan, who is facing contempt of court notices over his tweets against the Supreme Court and the CJI, on Monday said that the top court had played a “substantial role in allowing the destruction of our democracy” in recent years.

It is a bona fide view that I can form, hold and express under my fundamental right to speech, Bhushan said. “Such expression of opinion however outspoken, disagreeable or however unpalatable, cannot constitute contempt of court.”

Bhushan had tweeted about the CJI riding a motorbike on August 26 to drive home his concern over the court’s failure to physically sit and adjudicate issues facing the nation during the lockdown.


In another tweet the day after, he had also blamed the top court for ensuring the destruction of Indian democracy by its acts of omission and commission. The tweets are no longer available.

The top court has issued contempt notices to him suo motu on a petition filed by a lawyer drawing its attention to the tweets.

“I strongly believe that democracy has been substantially destroyed during the last six years; by its acts of commissions and omissions, the Supreme Court has allowed the emasculation of our democracy and the role played by the last four CJIs has been very critical in the above mentioned process.”
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The chief justice is not the Supreme Court, Bhushan said.

Raising issues of concern regarding the manner in which a CJI conducts himself during "court vacations”, or raising issues of grave concern regarding the manner in which four CJIs have used, or failed to use, their powers as master of the roster to allow the spread of authoritarianism, majoritarianism, stifling of dissent, widespread political incarceration, and so on, cannot and does not amount to "scandalising or lowering the authority of the court.”
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