Tribune News Service
New Delhi, August 5
The Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved its order on a suo motu criminal contempt case against activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan and Twitter Inc for his tweets allegedly scandalising the judiciary.
A three-judge Bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra reserved its order after hearing at length senior advocate Dushyant Dave, on behalf of Bhushan. He said no institution should be free from public criticism.
On Tuesday, it had reserved its order in an 11-year-old contempt case against Bhushan in which the lawyer has expressed regret, but refused to apologise.
With regard to the suo motu contempt case, the top court Registry refused to accept a petition filed by 16 activists seeking to intervene in it.
During the hearing, Dave tried to impress upon the Bench that Bhushan’s tweets critical of CJI SA Bobde and former CJIs didn’t amount to scandalising the judiciary.
“He criticises the court because of love and affection for the institution. He did not impute any motive. Please don’t misunderstand him,” Dave submitted.
On behalf of Twitter, senior counsel Sajan Poovayya said his client was only an intermediary in this case. “There are 50 crore tweets every day. It’s not possible for us to look at all of them. After the court’s notice we withheld the tweets in question. I (Twitter) should not have been impleaded at all,” Poovayya submitted.
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