Prashant Bhushan pays ₹1 fine, to file review petition against SC verdict

Activist-lawyer seeks procedural changes to avoid “arbitrary, vengeful and high-handed decisions” in criminal contempt cases where the apex court is both the ‘injured’ party and the prosecutor

Prashant, Bhushan
Pitching for an intra-court, Bhusan argued that convicts should be allowed to file petitions against the Supreme Court order in the apex court and a separate bench be allotted to hear the case | File Photo: PTI

Activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan who was held guilty of contempt by the Supreme Court for his tweets against the Chief Justice of India and the judiciary and fined Re 1 for his tweets, submitted the fine amount on Monday (September 14), while clarifying that he has not accepted the court’s judgement and will file a review petition challenging it.

Bhushan on Saturday had filed a petition, seeking the right to appeal against the original criminal contempt cases. Pitching for an intra-court, Bhushan argued that convicts should be allowed to file petitions against the Supreme Court order in the apex court and a separate bench be allotted to hear the case.

Bhushan in his petition had suggested changes to avoid “arbitrary, vengeful and high-handed decisions” in criminal contempt cases.

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“Contempt proceedings are one in which the injured party (Supreme Court) acts as the prosecutor, witness and judge, thereby raising fear of inherent bias,” the petition said.

The plea was filed through Bhushan’s lawyer Kamini Jaiswal in which the Ministry of Law and Justice and the Registrar of the Supreme Court were made parties.

The Supreme Court on August 31 had ordered Bhushan to pay a fine of Re 1 by September 15 for two of his contemptuous tweets, failing which he would be debarred from practicing law for three years and face imprisonment for three months. While one of the two tweets for which Bhushan was held guilty was directed at Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and the judiciary.

Another contempt case was initiated against Bhushan by the Supreme Court in 2009, for his comments alleging corruption by past CJIs.

Related news: SC impleads Attorney General in 2009 contempt case against Bhushan

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