The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to hear advocate Prashant Bhushan’s plea to postpone his sentencing hearing.
A bench of justices Arun Mishra, BR Gawai and Krishna Murari said that the verdict was completed only after the sentencing. It assured Bhushan that no punishment would be imposed until the verdict was issued against the sentencing order in the case.
Bhushan had appealed to the Supreme Court to postpone his sentencing hearing in the court’s contempt case until his verdict was filed against the August 14 sentencing order.
The court had taken notice of two tweets posted by Bhushan on June 27 and 29, where the Chief Justice of India (CJI) was closing down the courts and accusing former CJIs of destroying democracy.
On August 14, Bhushan’s derogatory tweets convicted the Supreme Court of criminal contempt and said the judicial function in the public interest was not a fair criticism.
In its decision, the bench said, “The Indian judiciary is one of the pillars of Indian democracy but a central pillar. The hand of iron has to deal with the attempt to shake the foundations of constitutional democracy. “
Under the contempt of court act, criminal contempt of court may attract a sentence of six months imprisonment or a fine of Rs 2,000. In his petition, Bhushan pointed out that in criminal contempt proceedings, the Supreme Court acts as a trial court and is the last court. There is no appeal to the high court after a high court convicts a person for contempt.
Bhushan urged the court to accept the plea for postponement of the underlying public policy to safeguard the liberty of the citizens under paragraph 21.