NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday found civil rights lawyer Prashant Bhushan guilty of criminal contempt for his two tweets on the judiciary. Bhushan, however, is not the first to be held guilty of contempt of court.
In 2002, Booker Prize winner Arundhati Roy was held guilty of the criminal contempt of court and sentenced to simple imprisonment for a day and a fine of Rs 2,000 by the Supreme Court.
The court was offended by her criticism on the judgment given by the bench in her another contempt of court case.
The bench had then held that the contempt notice was issued to her not for having attributed motives to a particular judge but for imputing motives to the court in general, as if the judiciary was carrying out a personal vendetta against her.
In 2009, noted criminal lawyer R K Anand was held guilty of contempt of court for trying to influence a witness in the BMW hit-and-run case by the SC and had stripped him from his senior advocate designation.
The court, however, did not send him to jail and accepted his apology and offer to provide free legal aid to the poor for a year and to donate Rs 21 lakh for improving the legal education infrastructure.
In 2017, the court sentenced a sitting judge, C S Karnan of the Calcutta HC, to six months of imprisonment, holding him guilty of contempt of court.
He was the first serving high court judge to be sent to prison for contempt.
The court had taken suo motu cognizance of Karnan’s misconduct in accusing members of the judiciary of nepotism, casteism and corruption when he served as a judge in the Madras HC.
He was subsequently transferred to the Calcutta HC.
HC judge faced wrath
In 2017, the SC sentenced Calcutta HC judge C S Karnan to six months of jail, holding him guilty of contempt of court