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Re 1 or 3 months imprisonment: What’s Prashant Bhusan’s fate?

By- Ankita Mohanty

The Supreme Court imposes a Re1 fine on Prashant Bhusan in the infamous contempt case after much coaxing and apprehension. Prashant gratefully accepts the verdict and pays the said amount.

On Monday we got to experience, what one would say, a peculiar judiciary overthrow as SC imposed a Re 1 fine on Lawyer-activist Prashant Bhusan for committing serious contempt against the apex court and Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde.

Bhusan was under fire for commenting on CJI’s Bobde’s photo astride a Harley Davidson bike in one of his tweets. In the second tweet, Prashant decided to walk the extra mile and confidently criticized the incumbent and past CJIs which landed him in serious trouble.

On August 25, the top court was urged by Prashant’s lawyer to show "judicial statesmanship" and not make Bhushan a "martyr" by punishing him for contempt over his tweets. The particular argument gained momentum as Attorney General KK Venugopal requested the bench to forgive Bhusan with a message that he should not repeat this act.

After brief consideration, the apex decided to impose a mild comeuppance on the Lawyer while voicing their disapproval on how the situation has taken its course.

"We gave several opportunities and encouragement to (Prashant Bhushan) to express regret. He not only gave wide publicity to the second statement but also gave various interviews to press." the court has said.

This was in regards to Bhusan’s statement refusing to retract his assertions, saying he considered it the discharge of his "highest duty" and apologizing would be contempt of his conscience.

The three-judge bench has issued a nominal fine of Re 1 and declared that failure to deposit the amount by September 15 would result in him undergoing imprisonment for three months. The lawyer-activist has gladly accepted the verdict and paid the sum, as mentioned in a tweet by Prashant Bhusan himself.


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