New Delhi: Days after the Supreme Court held lawyer-activist Prashant Bhushan “guilty of contempt of court” for his tweets on the Chief Justice of India SA Bobde, Congress leader Kapil Sibal on Saturday slammed the Court, saying it is using “contempt power” as a ” sledgehammer.” Also Read - CBSE Results 2020: Class 12 Compartment Exam Results to Be Declared by October 10
“History will judge the Court for having let us down,” he warned. Also Read - No Coercive Action Against Facebook Chief in Delhi Riots Case Till Oct 15: Supreme Court to Delhi Assembly
“Contempt power being used as a sledgehammer. Why are Courts helpless when institutions that need to protect the constitution and the laws show “ open contempt ” for both ? Also Read - Provide Food & Monetary Support Urgently to Starving 1.2 Lakh Sex Workers: SC Directs States
“Larger issues are at stake. History will judge the Court for having let us down,” Sibal said in a tweet.
On Thursday, the Court had rejected Prashant’s plea to defer the hearing on his sentence till his review petition against conviction for criminal contempt is filed and decided. “Even if we punish you, it won’t be activated, till the decision on review. We’ll be fair to you. We feel you are trying to avoid this bench,” the Court had maintained.
The Court had also given the advocate two days’ time, asking him to “reconsider” his statement which was presented by him in the court.
Prior to that, the Supreme Court had initiated suo motu contempt proceedings against Bhushan for allegedly making derogatory comments against the top court on June 27 in a tweet that alleged that the last four Chief Justices had played a role in the “destruction of democracy” during undeclared “emergency” for the last six years. Another tweet on June 29 alleged that the “present Chief Justice” rode a bike in Nagpur “while keeping the apex court in lockdown and denying citizens their right to access to justice”.