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Prashant Bhushan sentenced to pay a fine of Re 1 or undergo 3 months' jail term in contempt of court case
The Supreme Court pronounced the sentence of Prashant Bhushan ordering him to pay Re 1 as fine, or, in default, undergo a jail term of 3 months in the contempt of court case against him. He had posted allegedly defamatory tweets on the Supreme Court and the current and former Chief Justices of India of which the apex court took suo moto cognisance and he was convicted on August 14.

NEW DELHI, Aug 31: The Supreme Court on Monday sentenced well-known civil rights advocate Prashant Bhushan, who had been held guilty in the contempt of court case against him, to pay Re 1 as fine by September 15 or undergo 3 months' jail term and be debarred from practising for three years.

The apex court had on August 14 found him guilty of tweeting against the court and the current and former Chief Justices of India. He was convicted by a three-judge bench led by Justice Arun Mishra. The maximum punishment is 6 months in jail or a fine of Rs 2,000 or both under the Contempt of Court Act. The sentence was to be pronounced on August 20 but he was given three days to apologise. Thereafter Bhushan submitted a statement but defending what he had said and done.

At the subsequent hearing last Tuesday, where his statement also came up, Attorney-General KK Venugopal suggested that he may be pardoned. The court asked Bhushan to withdraw the statement, which the court found a repeat of the offence in itself, which he refused. He stood his ground.

The apex court then fixed August 31 to pronounce the sentence.

Bhushan's statement defended that the tweets represented a bona fide belief he holds and that an apology would be insincere. It further said that retracting would be a "contempt of my conscience" and the court.

He had posted the following tweets on June 27 and 29:-

"When historians in the future look back at the last six years to see how democracy has been destroyed in India even without a formal Emergency, they will particularly mark the role of the SC in this destruction, and more particularly the role of the last four CJIs."

"The CJI rides a Rs 50-lakh motorcycle belonging to a BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) leader at Raj Bhavan, Nagpur, without wearing a mask or helmet, at a time when he keeps the SC on lockdown mode denying citizens their fundamental right to access justice!"

Another contempt of court case of 2009 is also pending against Prashant Bhushan before the apex court. He had called former Chief Justices corrupt.

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