Prashant bhushan, Twitter, Supreme Court
Prashant bhushan, Twitter, Supreme Court
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Reputation of Supreme Court cannot be dislodged by a couple of tweets: Bar Association of India on Prashant Bhushan contempt verdict

"...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.

Lydia Suzanne Thomas

The Executive Committee of Bar Association of India has released a statement questioning the suo motu exercise of contempt jurisdiction by the Supreme Court which found lawyer Prashant Bhushan guilty of contempt of court last Friday.

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 Association is of the view that 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."
Bar Association of India

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 reputation of the Supreme Court of India cannot be dislodged by a couple of ‘tweets’."
Bar Association of India

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.

"Trenchant criticism, commentary, satire and humour help build institutions in a free society."
the Statement adds.

Read the Statement here:

Bar Association of India Statement dated August 18, 2020.pdf
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