NEW DELHI: Advocate Prashant Bhushan has asked the Bar Council of Delhi (BCD) to drop the disciplinary proceedings against him, saying his conviction for criminal contempt of court over two tweets was a fundamental assault on the freedom of speech which the regulatory body is supposed to protect as it involves the dignity, freedom and independence of the Bar.
The Supreme Court had let off Bhushan with a token of Re 1 fine or three months' imprisonment if he fails to pay the money.
Responding to the show cause notice issued to him on September 21 by the BCD Bhushan in his reply said, "The Supreme Court judgment holding me guilty of criminal contempt and further sentencing me for the same are a fundamental assault on the freedom of speech and independence of the Bar."
"The Bar's independence has been protected by the statutory Bar Councils established under the Advocates Act, 1961. The Bar Councils have been made completely independent of the Government as well as the Judiciary, so that they can protect the dignity, freedom and independence of the Bar," the reply stated.
He added, "I submit that the Bar Council should stand in solidarity with the rights of the members of the legal profession, and not take cognisance of the judgment of Supreme Court which have severely constricted and abridged the freedom, rights and dignity of the members of the Bar and also ordinary citizens."
Bhushan said the two tweets are within the limits of freedom of expression of a member of the Bar and there is nothing in them which could be termed as contemptuous.ends