Pune: City-based lawyers protested outside the Shivajinagar District and Sessions Court premises on Monday (August 24) in support of senior advocate Prashant Bhushan and against the sentence passed by the Supreme Court convicting Advocate Bhushan on charges of contempt of court. Several advocate associations including the members of Lokayat Advocate Wing protested the conviction by tying black ribbons.
Advocate Prashant Bhushan has recently been convicted of contempt of court. Protesting advocates disagreed with the Supreme Court decision and stated that Bhushan's statements may be inaccurate or irrational, but this does not lead to contempt of court. The Supreme Court promptly convicted him. Is criticizing the judiciary an insult to it, questioned the lawyers.
Protesting lawyers also stated that to criticize is not to insult. According to Article 19 (1) (A) of the Constitution, every citizen of the country has the right to freedom of speech and expression and the Supreme Court's action against Bhushan's is a violation of this right.
Advocate Mohan Wadekar, Adv Shahid Akhtar, Adv Natha Shingade, Adv Monali C A, Adv Prabhakar Sonawane, Adv Wajid Khan, Adv Arif Khan, Adv Sushma Namdas, Adv Atul Gund-Patil along with Adv Saifan Sheikh, the Lokayat's lawyer wing and some members of other lawyers' associations in the city participated in the protests.
During the protest meeting, lawyers said that "We are talking about the rights and entitlements given by the constitution to an individual to remain unaffected. It is the responsibility of each and every one of us to uphold these rights and entitlements."
Bhushan, held guilty of contempt by the Supreme Court on August 14 for two of his tweets, has refused to apologise to the Supreme Court. The apex court had given him time till today to apologise before deciding on the quantum of punishment to be awarded to Bhushan. SC in its verdict has said that the tweets made by Bhushan cannot be said to be a fair criticism of the functioning of the judiciary made in the public interest.