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"...The exercise of contempt jurisdiction by the Court in this manner has potential for more self-harm than the avowed purpose of safeguarding the prestige of the institution", the Statement reads.
At the outset, the letter expresses the Committee's deep dismay and concern at the exercise of the contempt jurisdiction by the Supreme Court against a member of the legal profession.
The letter, signed by Dr Lalit Bhasin, President of the Association, records that the Association had filed an intervention application in the Bhushan case but the same was not listed.
In their application, the Association had submitted that members of the Bar had a "duty to speak on institutional and structural matters concerning the judiciary, judicial officers and judicial conduct".
The Letter describes the suo motu exercise of power to deliver judgments curbing the free exercise of speech and expression by an advocate as "conspicuously old-fashioned", especially at a time when the citizenry is facing huge challenges.
The Statement emphasizes the duty of the Bar and the Bench is to work together to deliver justice and ensure the freedom of speech to criticise the working of institutions.
Read the Statement here: