Twitter has blocked two tweets posted by lawyer Prashant Bhushan after the Supreme Court initiated contempt proceedings against him. Both tweets are not blocked with a standard message reading in its place, “This Tweet from @pbhushan1 has been withheld in IN in response to a legal demand.”
The Supreme Court Bench comprising Justices Justices Arun Mishra, BR Gavai and Krishna Murari had also come down heavily on Twitter for not removing the contentious tweets posted by Bhushan.
The Supreme Court Bench had contended that Bhushan’s tweets had brought ‘the administration of justice in disrepute and are capable of undermining the dignity and authority of the institution … and the office of the Chief Justice of India in particular.’
In April this year, the Supreme Court had seen an interesting exchange of words between Bhushan and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul on the erosion of faith in the Indian judiciary. This was during the hearing on the movement of migrant workers amidst the nationwide lockdown. Bhushan, who was appearing on behalf of the petitioners, had argued that the central government was not enforcing the fundamental rights of migrant workers, who remained stuck in various parts of the country during the lockdown period.
But before the hearing could commence, Justice Kaul had asked Bhushan, “You don’t have faith on us. How can we hear you? An order can always be criticised.”
Bhushan had replied, “I have never said that I have no faith in this institution. I only expressed my views. Some retired judges are also saying the same thing. The court is accepting whatever the government is stating without verifying.”
The questionable role of the Supreme Court has been dominating social media conversations in the last few years.