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Crime, Police And Law

Contempt Notice Served to Adv. Prashant Bhushan and Twitter India for Tweets against the Judiciary

By Harshil Jain      25 July, 2020 12:20 PM      0 Comments
Contempt Notice Served Prashant Bhushan Twitter India

On Wednesday, 22 July 2020, Advocate Prashant Bhushan along with Twitter India was served with contempt notice regarding tweets against the judiciary. The Supreme Court issued a notice to Prashant Bhushan seeking his response as to why any action should not be taken against him for such comments on Judiciary. 

Twitter India was questioned as to why they did not remove Prashant Bhushan’s tweets when they were involving controversy and a contempt action was already been instituted against it. 

Twitter India said that they will convey this message to their parent company Twitter Inc. based in California. The Supreme Court took up contempt proceedings on its own against Mr. Bhushan for two tweets

In June month of this year, Mr. Bhushan alleged the judiciary had a hand in dealing with damage to democracy. On 27 June 2020, Prashant Bhushan accused the Supreme Court of playing a part in the "destruction of India's democracy" in the last six years. 

He tweeted, “When historians in the future look back at the last 6 years to see how democracy has been destroyed in India even without a formal Emergency, they will particularly mark the role of the Supreme Court in this destruction, and more particularly the role of the last four CJIs.”

The Supreme Court requested the Attorney General to support the court in this case, acknowledging that Twitter Inc, headquartered in California, is the correct party to this case, not Twitter India. 

The Three-Judge Bench consisting of Justice Arun Mishra, Justice BR Gavai and Justice Krishna Murari then allowed the social media firm to file a petition that they found appropriate for the matter. 

His second tweet, on 29 June 2020, Prashant Bhushan posted a photograph of Chief Justice of India Sharad Arvind  Bobde sitting on a Harley Davidson motorcycle in Pune along with the text “CJI rides a 50 Lakh motorcycle belonging to a BJP leader at Raj Bhavan Nagpur, without a mask or helmet, at a time when he keeps the SC in Lockdown mode denying citizens their fundamental right to access justice!” 

The Supreme Court contended that “A petition was presented before us for contempt proceeding on the administrative side. We have gone through the petition and the allegation against CJI SA Bobde. The tweet in question was tweeted on June 27... We issue a notice to the Attorney General. We also note that the correct party here is Twitter Inc of California and not Twitter India. Twitter permitted to file an appropriate application.”

A contempt case registered in 2009 against Prashant Bhushan and Tarun Tejpal, who is a former editor of Tehelka magazine, is also listed before the same bench to be heard on Friday, 24 July 2020. The case relates to certain comments made by Bhushan in an interview to Tehelka magazine against former Chief Justice of India S H Kapadia. 

Prashan Bhushan is a public interest lawyer in the Supreme Court of India. He was a member of India Against Corruption (IAC) movement known as Team Anna, which supported Anna Hazare 's campaign to implement the Jan Lokpal Act. After a split in the IAC, he helped Team Anna to form the Aam Aadmi Party. 


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