My tweets are for good of judiciary: Bhushan | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Facing contempt proceedings for criticising the CJI and his four predecessors, advocate Prashant Bhushan told the Supreme Court on Wednesday that his tweets were not malicious and referred to the 2018 press conference of four senior most judges of the SC against the then CJI in a bid to convince the court that fair criticism cannot be termed contemptuous and it is for betterment of the institution.
Senior advocate Dushyant Dave, appearing for Bhushan, told a bench of Justices Arun Mishra, B R Gavai and Krishna Murari that even retired judges had made statements that “judiciary is under challenge” and Bhushan tweeted his opinion out of “love and affection” for the institution as he was concerned about its functioning which has recently been criticised by different sections of people.
Referring to Bhushan’s contribution in development of jurisprudence in the country, Dave told the bench that around 50 judgements have been pronounced on his various pleas against corruption, environment protection and other public issues.
“The tweets are not with malice but it was done out of love and affection as we want to strengthen the judiciary. If the court fails to check the Executive and does not protect citizens then people have right to raise question. So please do not misunderstand it. Your lordships have themselves said that survival of democracy depends on Bar and Bench,” Dave said.
“Hundreds of people tweeted that picture (of CJI S A Bobde) and wrote many things. Can the court take action against all of them. The tweets were not contemptuous,” he said and pointed out that many people were hounded and suffered during Covid-19 pandemic but the apex court did not intervene on time to protect their interests.
“I beg and beseech lordships not to proceed in this case. His tweet was a criticism. It needs to be taken objectively. If former judges can criticise the institute then why cannot Mr Bhushan?,” Dave said.
Referring to sexual harassment allegation against the then CJI Ranjan Gogoi, Dave said the SC staff who had made the allegation has been reinstated by the apex court itself and raised question on whether she can also be hauled up for contempt.
The bench, after holding hearing for about three hours, reserved its verdict.
Dave at the outset of the proceedings said that the court wrongly took cognisance on a plea filed by one lawyer as the rule says that opinion of the attorney general was required to take cognisance on a contempt plea.

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