NEW DELHI: Over 100 students from across the country have written to Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and Justice Arun Mishra urging the top court to reconsider its judgment on senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan.
The SC held Bhushan guilty in a contempt of court case and is scheduled to pronounce the quantum of sentence on Monday.
A total of 122 students — 74 studying law and 44 from other streams — made an emotional appeal to the CJI and the other judges to reconsider sentencing.
“The judiciary ought to reply for criticism by the restoration of public confidence. The judiciary ought to reply for criticism by changing its case. The judiciary ought not to charge for contempt of court when criticism arises out of anguish and love for justice, from a person aiding in the profoundness of the same justice he asks for others,” the open letter said.
They said that they have witnessed Bhushan in courts fighting for transparency, accountability, environmental protection, human rights and corruption for years.
His contribution to the fraternity and nation-building is undoubtedly cherished by all in legal fraternity, open letter stated.
They said that the two tweets, over which Bhushan was held guilty of contempt, have layered anguish represented for the voiceless and marginalized community.
Those tweets don’t hurt the sanctity of the court as it depends on the approach of judges towards justice, the letter said.
“I quite realise how hard it is to resist, with sage silence, the shafts of acid speech: and, how alluring it is to succumb to the temptation of argumentation where the thorn, not the rose, triumphs. In contempt jurisdiction, silence is a sign of strength since our power is wide and we are prosecutor and judge,” the law students said in the letter, quoting a judgment of Retired Judge Justice VK Iyer.
The law students further said that to criticise the judge fairly, albeit fiercely, is no crime but a necessary right, twice blessed in a democracy.
Bhushan was held guilty of contempt of court by the Supreme Court for two of his tweets, the first one posted on June 29, related to his comment/post on a picture of the CJI on a high-end bike.
In his second tweet, Bhushan expressed his opinion on the role of the last four CJIs amid the state of affairs in the country.