Lawyer-activist Prashant Bhushan has filed his supplementary statement before the court in which he has refused to apologize. Supreme Court has given him three days time window to retract his statement and apologize.
“My tweets represented this bonafide belief that I continue to hold. Public expression of these beliefs was I believe, in line with my higher obligations as a citizen and a loyal officer of this court. Therefore, an apology for expression of these beliefs, conditional or unconditional, would be insincere. An apology cannot be a mere incantation and any apology has to, as the court has itself put it, be sincerely made,” said Prashant Bhushan in the statement filed.
He further added, “This is especially so when I have made the statements bonafide and pleaded truths with full details, which have not been dealt with by the 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 and of an institution that I hold in highest esteem.”
On Thursday, the top court had given three days time to reconsider the statement and apologize in the contempt case. The apex court has convicted 63-year old lawyer-activist Prashant Bhushan for contempt of court over his two tweets related to CJI S A Bobde and Indian judiciary.
“Don’t just apply legal brain here,” said Justice Arun Mishra and stated that he had not convicted anyone of contempt in 24 years of his service.
To which, Bhushan replied, “I may reconsider it if my lordships want but there won’t be any substantial change. I don’t want to waste my lordships’ time. I will consult my lawyer.”
Bhushan argued that he considers his tweets discharge of highest duty and such an open criticism is necessary to safeguard the democracy and its values.
“You may do hundreds of good things, but that doesn’t give you a license to do ten crimes,” said Justice Arun Mishra while pointing out that freedom of speech is not absolute.