“Cannot Force An Apology”: Prashant Bhushan’s Lawyer Tells Supreme Court

Dhavan also added that it cannot be a mere incantation, an apology has to be sincerely made and he (Bhushan) sincerely says that ‘this is my belief’.

Prashant Bhushan, the senior lawyer, and activist who has refused to apologize for his tweets in contempt of court case should be pardoned with a warning, the government’s top lawyer KK Venugopal argued today before top court judges.

“Let him go with a warning to tell him ‘please don’t repeat this in future’,” AG Venugopal told the apex court, requesting it to “show statesmanship” and not use its power of contempt.
The Top court took 30 minutes break from the hearing, allowing Bhushan to think on withdrawing a 100-page statement he submitted on Monday, in which he not only refused to apologize but also said: “The hopes of the people of India vest in this Court to ensure the rule of law and the Constitution and not an untrammeled rule of the executive.”
“Tell us what is to be done. We expected a different statement.” the Supreme Court said reacting to the statement.
The government lawyer stressed that several sitting and retired judges have earlier commented on the corruption in higher judiciary.
“These statements would only be to tell the Court that you should look at the unclear and reform yourself,” AG Venugopal said.
Responding to AG’s statement, Justice Mishra said: “But he doesn’t think whatever he did was wrong. He did not submit an apology… People make mistakes, sometimes even in bona fide mistakes are made. But he does not think he did anything wrong. What to do when someone does not think they did something wrong?”
To this, KK Venugopal responded saying: “I myself wanted to file a contempt against Prashant Bhushan when two CBI officers were fighting, and he said I fabricated documents. But after he expressed regret, I withdrew. Let the democracy follow in this case when he has exercised his free speech.”
AG Venugopal said it would be tremendously appreciated” if the court left it at that and took a compassionate view.
“This institution must take criticism, and not just criticism but extreme criticism. Your shoulders are broad enough.”
He’s stressed that “no court can pass an order like this. It was an exercise in coercion. This is wrong jurisprudence.”
Dhavan also added that it cannot be a mere incantation, an apology has to be sincerely made and he (Bhushan) sincerely says that ‘this is my belief’.”
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