Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday reserved its verdict on quantum of sentence to be awarded to senior advocate Prashant Bhushan over his tweets criticizing the apex court and Chief Justice of India SA Bobde.
A three-judge bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra stated that the court has no aversion to fair criticism. Given that, everyone who criticizes courts should not attribute agendas or motives to judges.
Justice Mishra said, “We tolerate fair criticism and welcome it. But we cannot go to press to defend ourselves. I have never gone to the press. We are bound by an oath.”
Senior counsel Rajeev Dhavan, representing Prashant Bhushan said that the court should not punish Bhushan and make a martyr of him. Dhavan bargained with the SC, saying it can disagree with Bhushan but needs to provide guidelines barring advocates from sensationalizing their cases.
He said that being the apex court of the country, it can ask Bhushan to be restrained and toned in the future. This case and controversy can be closed by a mild scolding of Bhushan.
“If SC punishes him the controversy will snowball into a bigger one – one group making Bhushan a martyr and the other saying he is rightly punished,” Dhavan said.