Prashant Bhushan (L), Attorney General KK Venugopal (R)
Prashant Bhushan (L), Attorney General KK Venugopal (R)
Litigation News

Contempt case against Prashant Bhushan: SC issues revised order after first order omits AG KK Venugopal's appearance

The order issued initially did not reflect the appearance of AG KK Venugopal, who had briefly spoken in the latter half of yesterday's hearing, while urging the Court to refrain from punishing Bhushan for this tweets.

Meera Emmanuel

The Supreme Court has issued a revised copy of its order passed in yesterday's hearing of the suo motu contempt case against Advocate Prashant Bhushan.

The order copy issued initially did not reflect the appearance of Attorney General KK Venugopal, who had briefly spoken in the latter half of the hearing, while urging the Apex Court to refrain from punishing Bhushan for this tweets.

To rectify the omission, the Court has now issued a revised order copy, which reflects the Attorney General's appearance in yesterday's proceedings.

A revised order (R) has been issued reflecting the AG's appearance in yesterday's hearing
A revised order (R) has been issued reflecting the AG's appearance in yesterday's hearing

On August 14, the Supreme Court had found Prashant Bhushan guilty of criminal contempt of Court for two tweets criticising the judiciary. However, the question of sentence is yet to be decided.

The Court had initially fixed August 20 (yesterday) as the day for determining the sentence to be imposed on Bhushan. However, the Court deferred the matter further to August 25 after yesterday's hearing, to give Bhushan another chance to tender an unconditional apology.

On the eve of the hearing, Bhushan had moved an application to defer the sentencing proceedings given that he intended to file a review plea challenging the August 14 verdict.

The Court initially said that it was not inclined to postpone the hearing, while assuring that the sentence would not be acted upon until the review plea - which is yet to be filed - is dealt with.

However, it later agreed to fix a hearing for next week, if Bhushan reconsiders his statement and tenders an "unconditional apology."

The Court had also sought Attorney General Venugopal's views on the statement made by Bhushan, and whether he should be given more time. In response, AG Venugopal said that it would be "tremendously good" if Bhushan is given some time.

AG Venugopal also sought to make brief submissions towards the fag end of the hearing. He was addressing the Court as the top law officer, considering notice was issued to the Office of the Attorney General in the contempt matter.

Arguing against the imposition of penalty for contempt on Bhushan, the AG said, inter alia,

"I have a list of nine judges who had said that there is corruption in the higher levels of judiciary. I had myself said it in 1987..."

However, the Bench was not inclined to hear the AG on merits yesterday. Rather, the Court asked him to consider the entire case and then make submissions after 2-3 days.

Should Bhushan make this apology, the matter will be considered again on August 25, states Supreme Court's order. The order adds that the Court has reserved its verdict on sentencing.

Read the revised order:

N RE PRASHANT BHUSHAN & ANR.- August 20 Order.pdf
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