Lawyers from the Indian Association of Lawyers and All India Lawyers Association for Justice stood in protest outside the City Civil Court in Bangalore in solidarity with Prashant Bhushan and in order to condemn the Supreme Court verdict that held him guilty of contempt of the Court.
The right to free speech and the right to demand accountability and transparency from the supreme court must be protected, must be fought for.
— Paramjeet (@Bhinda_Firoza) August 20, 2020
This is one of many demonstrations and protests across the country, where lawyers have been standing up against the decision of the court, in solidarity with Prashant Bhushan, in order to defend the right to free speech, the right to reasonably criticise the judiciary, and the right to demand transparency and accountability from the Supreme Court and the system of law.
— AILAJ_HQ (@AilajHq) August 20, 2020
Over a 100 advocates of the Madras High Court, including Senior Counsels, participated in a peaceful protest against the judgement rendered by a 3-judge Bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra holding Adv. Prashant Bhushan in contempt over two tweets. @pbhushan1 #ContemptofCourt pic.twitter.com/ygKKVJfQr3
— Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) August 18, 2020
— Karwan e Mohabbat (@karwanemohabbat) August 20, 2020
Prashant Bhushan is a well known Public Interest Lawyer in the Supreme Court of India and an activist. Bhushan had posted two tweets, one about the Supreme Court on June 27 and the second about the Chief Justice of India Sharad Arvind Bobde on June 29. On July 22, the top court had issued a show-cause notice to Bhushan after initiating the suo motu criminal contempt against him for his two tweets.
The first tweet, reproduced in the court, said: “When historians in the future look back at the last six years to see how democracy has been destroyed in India even without a formal Emergency, they will particularly mark the role of the SC in this destruction, and more particularly the role of the last four CJIs.”
The second tweet said: “The CJI rides a Rs 50-lakh motorcycle belonging to a BJP [Bharatiya Janata Party] leader at Raj Bhavan, Nagpur, without wearing a mask or helmet, at a time when he keeps the SC on lockdown mode denying citizens their fundamental right to access justice!”
Recently, 1,500 lawyers across the country wrote to the Supreme Court saying that the tweets did not qualify as contempt of court.
In a statement made to the Supreme court today, Prashant Bhushan wrote that his tweets represented his bonafide beliefs, the expression of which must be permissible in any democracy. Expressing that he was pained to have been misunderstood but refusing to apologize for beliefs that he still holds, he wrote, “Public scrutiny is desirable for the healthy functioning of the judiciary itself”, he wrote.