senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan on Monday refused to apologise for his contemptuous tweets scandalising the judiciary and asked the SC to recall its Aug 14 order convicting him of contempt of court.
“If I retract a statement before this court that I otherwise believe to be true or offer an insincere apology, that in my eyes would amount to the contempt of my conscience & of an institution that I hold in highest esteem,” Prashant said.
Prashant added that he has the highest regard for the institution of the SC. “I believe that the SC is the last bastion of hope for the protection of fundamental rights, the watchdog institutions & indeed for constitutional democracy itself,” he said.
“Today in these troubling times,
the hopes of the people of India vest in this court to ensure the rule of law and the Constitution and not an untrammeled rule of the executive.”An insincere apology would amount to the contempt of my conscience & of an institution, Bhushan said in his supplementary statement filed in the suo motu (on its own) contempt case against him by the top court.
The issue at hand is not just ‘two tweets’ or a contempt law well past its time. The issue is not even limited to the constitutional right to freedom of speech and expression. It is much larger.
Questioning all pillars of democracy, and their fairness and commitment to upholding the Constitution, have today become an urgent task. It is not just about Article 19 of constitution but about the entire sacred book of our republic. This is not about questioning one judge or four, because the questions are inextricably linked to the larger battle for the soul of India.
The Apex Court had, in its judgment on August 14, held Prashant Bhushan guilty of criminal contempt of court over his tweets.