Published: 30th August 2020
122 law students write to Chief Justice to reconsider judgement in Prashant Bhushan contempt case
In the letter, the law students made an emotional appeal to the CJI and other judges to reconsider sentencing against lawyer Bhushan in the contempt case
Around 122 law students from across the country have written to Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde and other judges of the Supreme Court to reconsider the judgment on senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan in the contempt of court case. The Supreme Court had earlier this month held Bhushan guilty of contempt of court over his tweets and reserved its order on the quantum of punishment. The apex court is scheduled to pronounce the sentence on Monday.
In the letter, the law students made an emotional appeal to the CJI and other judges to reconsider sentencing against lawyer Bhushan in the contempt case. "The judiciary ought to reply for criticism by the restoration of public confidence. The judiciary ought to reply for criticism by changing its case. The judiciary ought not to charge for contempt of court when criticism arises out of anguish and love for justice, from a person aiding in the profoundness of the same justice he asks for others," the letter said.
The law students said that they have witnessed Bhushan in courts fighting for transparency, accountability, environmental protection, and human rights, also against corruption for years. His contribution to our fraternity and nation-building is undoubtedly cherished by all in the legal fraternity, the open letter said.
They said that the two tweets, over which Bhushan was held guilty of contempt, have layered anguish represented for the voiceless and marginalized community. Those tweets don't hurt the sanctity of the court as it depends on the approach of judges towards justice, the letter said.
"I quite realise how hard it is to resist, with sage silence, the shafts of acid speech: and, how alluring it is to succumb to the temptation of argumentation where the thorn, not the rose, triumphs. In contempt jurisdiction, silence is a sign of strength since our power is wide and we are prosecutor and judge," the law students said in the letter, quoting a judgment of Retired Judge Justice VK Iyer.
The law students further said that to criticise the judge fairly, albeit fiercely, is no crime but a necessary right, twice blessed in a democracy. Bhushan was earlier this month held guilty of contempt of court by the Supreme Court for two of his tweets, the first one posted on June 29, related to his comment/post on a picture of CJI Bobde on a high-end bike. In his second tweet, Bhushan expressed his opinion on the role of the last four CJIs amid the state of affairs in the country. Meanwhile, another contempt of court case against Prashant Bhushan is also pending before the Supreme Court.