“I do not ask for mercy. I do not appeal to magnanimity”: Prashant Bhushan refuses to apologise even after Supreme Court Bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra insists on giving time for rethink

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Noted lawyer Prashant Bhushan on Thursday refused to apologise for his two tweets that prompted the Supreme Court Bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra to initiate contempt proceedings against him.

 

Making a submission the top court, Bhushan said, “It would be insincere and contemptuous on my part to offer an apology for the tweets that expressed what was and continues to be my bonafide belief. Therefore, I can only humbly paraphrase what the father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi had said in his trial.”

He continued, “I do not ask for mercy. I do not appeal to magnanimity. I am here, therefore, to cheerfully submit to any penalty that can lawfully be inflicted upon me for what the Court has determined to be an offence, and what appears to me to be the highest duty of a citizen.”



Justice Mishra asked Bhushan to reconsider his statement in which he had defended his tweets saying that they were aimed at discharging what he considered was his highest duty.

Justice Mishra, according to Livelaw, told Bhushan, “..We would like to give you time. Later on, there should not be a complaint that time was not given.”

To which Bhushan replied that his statement was ‘well-considered and well thought of.’ He replied, “If your lordships want to give me time, I welcome. But I don’t think it will serve any useful purpose and it will be a waste of time of Court. It is not very likely that I will change my statement.”

Before the hearing concluded, an interesting development took place. Attorney General KK Venugopal said that he had a list of five judges of the Supreme Court saying that democracy had failed in the Supreme Court. According to Livelaw, the AG added that he had extracts from statements of retired judges that there was corruption in the higher judiciary.

“If five judges of this court have held that democracy has failed…”, Venugopal added when he was interrupted by Justice Mishra, who said, “We are not hearing on merits, Mr. Attorney.”



The Supreme Court on Friday had held Bhushan guilty of contempt for his tweets criticising Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and previous Chief Justices of India. The Supreme Court Bench of Justices Arun Mishra, BR Gavai and Krishna Murari had fixed 20 August (today) for the hearing on the sentencing.

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