NEW DELHI: Days after contempt notice was issued to Prashant Bhushan for two of his tweets the senior advocate on Monday expressed regret only for a portion of his tweet on Chief Justice of India S A Bobde and former CJIs.
In his 142-page affidavit filed through lawyer Kamini Jaiswal, Bhushan has regretted only one thing that he did not notice the motorcycle was on a stand when he tweeted on Bobde riding a Rs 50 lakh bike “without a helmet”.
“At the outset, I admit that I did not notice that the bike was on a stand and therefore wearing a helmet was not required. I, therefore, regret that part of my tweet. However, I stand by the remaining part of what I have stated in my tweet,” the affidavit reads.
“The respondent states that expression of his opinion however outspoken, disagreeable or however unpalatable to some, cannot constitute contempt of court. This proposition has been laid down by several judgments of the Supreme Court and in foreign jurisdictions such as Britain, USA and Canada,” he submitted.
He also referred to the freedom of speech and expression under Article 19 (1)(a) of the Constitution, and said this right was the ultimate guardian of all the values that the Constitution holds sacred.
“The relationship between Article l9 (1A) and Article 129 (this gives power of contempt to SC) is governed by Article 19(2). Article l9 (2) (reasonable restrictions) recognizes the fetters that can be placed on
freedom of speech & expression under the court’s power to punish for contempt under Article 129.
About his other tweets, however, Bhushan said they were his “bonafide impression about the manner and functioning of the Supreme Court in the past years”.