Justice Arun Mishra, during the hearing on the sentencing of advocate Prashant Bhushan convicted in a contempt case, said it was painful to read Bhushan’s reply in justification of his tweets.
A Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Mishra and comprising Justices B.R. Gavai and Krishan Murari observed that if somebody like Bhushan, with experience of over 30 years, says something then people tend to believe him. The bench said people will think whatever Bhushan is saying is correct, and if it were somebody else then it was easier to ignore. But when Bhushan says something it has some effect, added the bench.
Justice Mishra noted that there is a difference between a politician and an officer of the court. He added that he is not making a comment on Bhushan, but this is something happening these days. He added, people go to the press in sub judice matters and make all kinds of comments.
Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, representing Bhushan, contended before the court that it should not make him a martyr, and this controversy will end when the court shows statesmanship. “If you want to bar him from practice, you will have to hear him first,” submitted Dhavan.
Justice Mishra said that many people have criticised the top court, but how many people have been convicted or punished? Citing Bhushan’s 2009 contempt case, Justice Mishra added there is another case pending since 2009, and asked if he has been punished there? “I have to demit office and it is painful to deal with all this,” said Justice Mishra. The hearing on the matter is in progress.