The Supreme Court on Monday sentenced Prashant Bhushan to a fine of Rupee 1 within September 15, and in case of failure to deposit, he will have to undergo sentence for three months and will be debarred from practice for three months.
“We have considered the sane advise given by the Attorney General, and have concluded that the conduct of present contemnor also needs to be taken into consideration,” said Supreme Court while delivering verdict.
A Bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra was to pronounce its verdict against Bhushan, who faced simple imprisonment of up to six months or with a fine of up to Rs 2,000 or with both as punishment under Contempt of Court Act.
On August 25, the top court was urged by senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan to show “judicial statesmanship” and not make Bhushan a “martyr” by punishing him for contempt over his tweets criticising the judiciary, after the activist-lawyer rejected fresh suggestions from the court for an apology.
As the top court reserved its verdict on the sentence to be awarded to Bhushan, Justice Arun Mishra, who presided over a three-judge bench, at the fag end of the nearly three-hour-long hearing had asked why he cannot seek an apology and what was wrong in using this word.
Justice Mishra is demitting office on September 2.
The apex court on August 14 had held Bhushan guilty of criminal contempt for his two derogatory tweets against the judiciary saying they cannot be said to be a fair criticism of the functioning of the judiciary made in the public interest.
On August 25, Dhavan, representing Bhushan, had suggested that the top court recall the August 14 verdict convicting him for contempt of court and not impose any sentence and urged it to not only close the case but also to bring an end to the controversy.