The Supreme Courton Friday held activist-lawyerPrashantBhushan
guilty of contempt for his two derogatory tweets against the judiciary.
A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra said it would hear on August 20 the arguments on quantum of sentence to be awarded toBhushan
in the matter.
The apex court had on August 5 reserved its verdict in the matter afterBhushan
had defended his two tweets, saying they were against the judges regarding their conduct in their personal capacity and they did not obstruct administration of justice.
On July 22, the top court had issued a show cause notice toBhushan
after initiating the criminal contempt against him after taking note of a petition.
While reserving the order in the contempt case, the top court had dismissed a separate petition filed by Bhushan seeking recall of the July 22 order by which the notice was issued against him in a contempt proceeding initiated for his alleged contemptuous tweets against the judiciary.The top court had not agreed to the contention of senior advocate Dushayant Dave, representing Bhushan, that the separate plea had raised objection against the manner in which the contempt proceedings were started without the opinion of Attorney GeneralK K Venugopaland it be sent to another bench.Bhushan had sought a direction to declare that the apex court’s secretary general has allegedly “acted unconstitutionally and illegally” in accepting a “defective contempt petition” filed against him, which was initially placed on the administrative side and later on the judicial side.Referring to a judgement, the apex court had said that it has “meticulously” followed the law in entertaining the contempt plea and it did not agree to the submission that it be sent to another bench for hearing.Dave arguing for Bhushan in the contempt case had said, “The two tweets were not against the institution.“They are against the judges in their personal capacity regarding their conduct. They are not malicious and do not obstruct administration of justice”.Bhushan has made immense contribution to the development of jurisprudence and there are “at least 50 judgments to his credit”, he had said, adding that the court has appreciated his contributions in cases like 2G scam, coal block allocation and in mining matters.“Perhaps you would have given him ‘Padma Vibhushan’ for the work he did in the last 30 years,” Dave had said, adding that this was not the case where contempt proceedings would have been initiated.Referring to the ADM Jabalpur case on suspension of fundamental rights during the emergency, the senior advocate had said that even “extremely uncharitable” r