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Senior advocate and activist Prashant Bhushan on Monday refused to tender an apology to the Supreme Court for his Tweet on the Chief Justice of India and the judiciary.
Bhushan said retracting his statement or offering an insincere apology would amount to 'contempt of his conscience', reported LiveLaw.
Bhushan has filed a supplementary affidavit in suo motu contempt case by the Supreme Court. He said that remarks made by him were in good faith and were 'constructive criticism' of the Court and therefore, retracting the same would be an amount of insincere apology.
Bhushan added that he has the highest regard for the institution of the Supreme Court. "I believe that the Supreme Court is the last bastion of hope for the protection of fundamental rights, the watchdog institutions and indeed for constitutional democracy itself," he said. "Today in these troubling times, the hopes of the people of India vest in this court to ensure the rule of law and the Constitution and not an untrammelled rule of the executive," the statement read.
In his two-page supplementary statement, Bhushan asserted that as an officer and a part of the judiciary, it is his duty to speak up when the Judicial institution is deviating from its world of justice.
Advocate Prashant Bhushan issues a Supplementary Statement in the Suo Moto Contempt case initiated against him by the Supreme Court for two tweets. @pbhushan1 #ContemptofCourt pic.twitter.com/3VF1awdJrK— Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) August 24, 2020
He further said that he made the remarks with full details and continues to hold onto that, however, the same has not been dealt with by the apex court
"Therefore I expressed myself in good faith, not to malign the Supreme Court or any particular Chief Justice, but to offer constructive criticism so that the court can arrest any drift away from its long-standing role as a guardian of the Constitution and custodian of peoples' rights," he said.
On August 20, the Supreme Court had asked Bhushan to reconsider his stance and offer an apology by Monday (August 24) or face up to six months in jail or a fine of ₹2,000 or both.
The court further said if Bhushan submits his apology, it would hold a hearing on Tuesday without clarifying the judiciary's response if one of their given choices is adhered to.
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