Prashant Bhushan is a prominent civil rights lawyer in the Supreme Court of India and an activist. He is one of the founding members of the Indian political party Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), and a member of a team of India Against Corruption (IAC) movement which supported Anna Hazare's campaign for the implementation of the Jan Lokpal Bill.
Prashant parted ways with the AAP in 2015 after he had a fall-out with leader of the party Arvind Kejriwal over his deviation from the core ideology, values and commitments. In 2016, he was one of the founders of Swaraj Abhiyan and Sambhaavnaa, an Institute of Public Policy and Politics.
Influenced by his father, Prashant was drawn to public activism with his main areas of interest being human rights, environmental protection and accountability of the public servants. He is associated with organisations like the Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), and Transparency International (India).
In 1990, Prashant and his father formed the Committee on Judicial Accountability (CJA) to fight corruption in the judiciary, and the organisation comprised of some lawyers and ex-judges. In 2007, the Bhushans expanded CJA to include citizens and formed the Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reform (CJAR).
Prashant, who published a book in 1990 titled Bofors: The Selling of a Nation, also pushed for government accountability, and in 2003, CPIL won a major victory when the Supreme Court restrained the Union government from privatising Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum without the approval of Parliament. He also represented the CPIL in a petition asking for the removal of Neera Yadav from office as Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh for alleged corruption, which the Supreme Court directed the Mulayam Singh state government to do so in 2005.
2006 TO 2012:
In 2006, Prashant represented the CPIL in a petition alleging that Pepsico and Coca-Cola were failing to warn the public of harmful ingredients in their beverages.
In March 2011, SC struck down the appointment of PJ Thomas as Central Vigilance Commissioner after Prashant filed a PIL challenging the appointment after Thomas was named in the Palmolein Oil Import Scam.
Prashant also acted for the CPIL when it took the lead in filing a suit against the Government of India for irregularities in a major award of spectrum for 2G mobile telephones.
In 2012, Prashant filed a PIL seeking cancelation of coal block allocations by the government on the grounds that certain companies had been illegally favoured by the politicians.
Prashant also filed a PIL against illegal iron ore extraction in Goa, which led to the Supreme Court halting all the mining operations in the state.
Prashant has taken a stand against many policies of the government, like the use of violence against the Naxal insurgents in the tribal-dominated areas and the death penalty.
In 1990, he successfully got the criminal liability aspect in the Bhopal gas tragedy reopened by SC, by challenging the settlement in the case of compensation to the victims.
He assisted the Narmada Bachao Andolan activists who were opposed to the Sardar Sarovar Dam, and opposed the Indo-US civilian nuclear agreement, supporting the People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy stand against establishment of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant.
Prashant Bhushan was born on October 15, 1956 in New Delhi to Shanti Bhushan and Kumud Bhushan and he has three siblings. He had attended IIT Madras and Princeton University briefly and has a law degree from Allahabad University. Apart from Bofors: The Selling of a Nation, he also published a book titled The Case that Shook India while still a student. He is married to Deepa Bhushan, a former lawyer, and has three children with her.
Prashant Bhushan updates followers through Facebook - @PrashantBhushanOfficial, Twitter - @pbhushan1, and Instagram - @prashantbhushan_.