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Pay Re 1 or go to jail for three months: SC tells Prashant Bhushan

Supreme Court on Monday directed lawyer Prashant Bhushan to pay a fine of Rupee 1 by September 15 or spend three months in prison along with a three-year ban on practising.

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Pay Re 1 or go to jail for three months: SC tells Prashant Bhushan
File photo: Prashant Bhushan
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    Pronouncing its verdict on the quantum of sentence in the contempt case, the Supreme Court on Monday directed lawyer Prashant Bhushan to pay a fine of Rupee 1 by September 15 or spend three months in prison.

    Bhushan, who has been found guilty for his tweets against the apex court and Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde, will also be debarred from practise for three years if he fails to pay the fine, the apex court said.

    The court had earlier this month convicted Bhushan over his two tweets against the judiciary. 

    In the previous hearing, he had refused to apologize in the Supreme Court, after which the court had asked his lawyer to advise on what punishment should be given to him. The court had also sought his opinion from the Attorney General on the issue of sentencing Bhushan to which the Attorney General said that Bhushan's tweet was to convey that there is a need to reform the judiciary, so Bhushan should be forgiven.

    During the hearing, the apex court had said it had hoped that Bhushan would improve his attitude when he filed his additional statement in the court last Monday, but he did not do so. The Supreme Court said that we had given Bhushan a chance. A mistake is always a mistake and the person concerned must realize it. The court said that Bhushan said that I will not apologize.

    Reserving its order on the sentence, the court had asked the senior lawyer to tender an apology saying there is no harm in apologising if a mistake has been made.

    During the hearing, advocate Dr Rajeev Dhavan had appeared for Bhushan and submitted that Bhushan has the highest regard for the institution but he has his opinion about last four Chief Justices of India (CJIs) about the way in which this court has gone wrong.

    Attorney General KK Venugopal had said that several sitting and retired judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts (former) have commented upon corruption in the higher judiciary and suggested to let Bhushan go with a warning if he expresses regret for his remarks.

    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 post on a picture of Chief Justice of India (CJI) Sharad Arvind Bobde on a high-end bike.

    In his second tweet, Bhushan expressed his opinion on the role of 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 top court.

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