iNDICA NEWS BUREAU & AGENCIES
Activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan refused to apologize Monday, the deadline set by the Supreme Court of India before sentencing him for contempt of court.
Bhushan, a legal luminary, was convicted for two tweets that criticized the higher judiciary in India in general and present Chief Justice of India SA Bobde in particular.
The case has come to be seen as a test for freedom of expression in India.
Bhushan maintained that his tweets represented his bona fide belief which he still continues to hold.
“Public expression of these beliefs was I believe, in line with my higher obligations as a citizen and a loyal officer of this court. Therefore, an apology for expression of these beliefs, conditional or unconditional, would be insincere,” he said in a supplementary statement filed in the apex court.
He said an “insincere apology would amount to contempt of my conscience and of an institution that I hold in highest esteem.”
The Indian Supreme Court last week gave Bhushan till August 24 to submit an unconditional apology and asked him to reconsider his defiant statement declining to apologize for his tweets.
India’s Attorney General KK Venugopal had urged the apex court that convicting Bhushan was okay, but “do not punish him.”
The court bench had replied that the tone, tenor, and content of Bhushan’s statement makes it worse.