NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday gave two-three days time to Prashant Bhushan to think over and consider modification to his 'defiant statement' made on the suo motu contempt case against him.
The court was hearing Bhushan's plea on the quantum of punishment in the case after holding him guilty for contempt of court on August 14 for his two tweets.
However, Bhushan told the bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra that he wouldn’t be making any changes in it. The court said it would be better if he reconsiders the statement.
Reading out the statement, Bhushan told the court, “I am pained not because I can be punished but because I have been misunderstood. I am disappointed that the court didn't even give me a copy of the complaint that was the basis. I believe that open criticism is necessary in any democracy to safeguard the constitutional order. Saving the constitutional order should come about personal or professional interests. My tweets were a small attempt to discharge what I consider my highest duty.”
“My tweets were out of a bonafide attempt to discharge my duty as a citizen. I would have been failing in my duty if I did not speak up at this juncture of history. I submit to any penalty which the court may inflict. It would be contemptuous on my part to offer apology,” Bhushan said.
“I do not ask for mercy. I do not appeal for magnanimity. I am here to cheerfully submit to any punishment that court may impose", Bhushan said quoting Mahatma Gandhi in his statement.
Senior advocate Dushyant Dave, appearing for Bhushan, urged deferment of the hearing on sentence as he sought to file a review petition on it.
The court didn’t feel inclined to grant him time as it said that the order wouldn’t be complete if the sentencing is deferred.
The bench assured Bhushan that if any punishment is given for contempt, it will be inflicted only after the review petition is decided.
The bench then went on to hear the arguments on sentence and made it clear that it would not be entertaining the plea to defer the sentencing.