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The Supreme Court today granted Advocate Prashant Bhushan time to reconsider his statement made in response to the Supreme Court verdict holding him guilty of contempt for his tweets on Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and the judiciary.
During today's sentencing hearing, the Court's August 14 judgment holding Bhushan guilty of contempt came under the scanner, with Senior Advocates Dushyant Dave, Rajeev Dhavan, and even Attorney General KK Venugopal batting for Bhushan.
Here are 15 significant statements made by the lawyers and the Bench during the hearing.
Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave
"If that (conviction judgment) is reviewed, then sentencing will become infructuous…Heavens are not going to fall if the sentencing is deferred till the review is decided. It is not provided in the law that it has to be decided by the same Bench."
Dave reacting to Justice Gavai's concern that the review petition would be filed after Justice Mishra's retirement
Senior Advocate Rajeev Dhavan
"I am not in support of this deferment. I just want to say, at the Bar, we take our judges as they come, we don't go Bench hunting. It is immaterial if a judge is retiring."
"Nature of the offence also has to be considered. There is already a lot of public discussion on the working of the judiciary in recent times."
"The objective of the Court is not to arrive at a finding that the statement is "scurrilous" etc. But, it has to be shown that such statements have a substantial interference in the functioning of the justice delivery system...how can a lawyer's tweet about CJI not wearing a mask affect the functioning of the Court?"
Dhavan, pointing out that former judges and lawyers were in support of Bhushan's sentiment
"You want us to balance, the Court is for balance. If we don't balance, the whole institution will be destroyed."
Justice Arun Mishra
"We can be lenient when the contemnor realises his mistake and apologises. Just because you have done good work does not mean your wrong can be overlooked."
"In the event we decide to impose any kind of punishment, we assure you that it won't be in operation till the review is decided. Don't worry, we will be fair to you... Even if you are not fair to us."
Justice Mishra, after Dhavan expressed concerns on the last six years of the history of the Court.
Prashant Bhushan's statement
"The statement I made was a well thought out and considered statement. It is unlikely that there will be a substantial change in my statement."
Attorney General KK Venugopal
AG Venugopal, urging the Court to not take action against Bhushan