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Bhushan files application to defer sentence hearing

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New Delhi: Advocate Prashant Bhushan has filed an application seeking deferment of hearing on sentence where the Supreme Court has held him guilty of contempt of Court till a review petition is filed and considered by the Court.

The Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra on August 14, held Bhushan to have committed “contempt which scandalises or lowers the authority of the Supreme Court,” pursuant to section 2(c)(i) of the Contempt of Courts Act 1971 for publishing two tweets relating to the Chief Justice of India and the role of the Supreme Court in the last six years, on his Twitter feed. He faces a maximum sentence of six months imprisonment and a fine, to be determined tomorrow.

Bhushan has submitted: “Since this Hon’ble Court acts as a court of first instance in a suo motu criminal contempt proceeding and there is no provision for appeal also, if there is conviction in such proceeding, the aforesaid principles of law, held in the context of a criminal trial, must apply parimateria to a case of a review filed against such conviction by this Hon’ble Court. It would be in consonance with the right guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. Otherwise there would be gross injustice since there would be no occasion to examine the correctness of the findings arrived at in a suo motu  criminal contempt proceeding before putting the convicted contemnor’s liberty at stake.”

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Bhushan has further submitted that he intends to file a review petition against the order of the Court and hence has prayed that the hearing on sentence be deferred till the consideration of the review by the Supreme Court.

– India Legal Bureau

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