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Supreme Court gives Prashant Bhushan time till August 24 to tender "unconditional apology" in relation to contempt of Court case

After concluding its hearing on sentencing in Advocate Prashant Bhushan's contempt of Court case, the Court granted Bhushan time till August 24 to tender an unconditional apology if he so desires.

Shruti Mahajan

After concluding its hearing on sentencing in Prashant Bhushan's contempt case today, the Supreme Court granted Bhushan time till August 24 to tender an "unconditional apology", if he so desires.

A three-Judge bench of Justices Arun Mishra, BR Gavai, and Krishna Murari today was hearing the contempt of Court case against Advocate Prashant Bhushan on the aspect of sentencing.

The Court at first refused to entertain the application for deferring the hearing on sentencing that was filed and then heard a personal statement made by Prashant Bhushan where he submitted himself to any punishment the Court decided to award him. Therafter, Senior Advocate Rajeev Dhavan argued on the aspect of sentencing.

With Bhushan not expressing regret in the statement he read out, the Court wished to grant him an opportunity to reconsider his statement and consulted with Attorney General for India KK Venugopal on whether Bhushan ought to be given some time to reconsider.

Venugopal, who was appearing as an officer of the Court batted for Bhushan and urged the Court to not only give him some time but also slipped in a submission urging Court not to punish him.

The Court, however, did not intend to hear AG Venugopal on merits of the case at this stage and decided to grant some time to Bhushan to reconsider his stance. Bhushan, who also appeared in person, maintained that the time granted may have little effect since his position and statement are unlikely to change.

A lenient approach may be taken by the Court should Bhushan express regret over his tweets, the Bench had observed during the hearing today with Justice Mishra remarking that for him, sentencing is not for punishment but for deterrence.

With this, the Court has decided to give Bhushan a chance to tender an "unconditional apology, if he so desires" and in the event this apology is made, the matter will be considered again by the Court on August 25.

Read Order:

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