Advocate Prashant Bhushan has filed an application before the Supreme Court seeking liberty to lead evidence if the Court decides to proceed against him for contempt.
Additionally, Prashant Bhushan has prayed for the proceedings to be placed before the Chief Justice of India for allocation of a Bench to hear the case.
In this application filed through Adovate Kamini Jaiswal, Prashant Bhushan contends that Maheshwari’s petition was only with regard to Bhushan’s tweet on CJI SA Bobde and the Harley Davidson motorcycle. However, on the day the hearing was scheduled before the Court, the second tweet pertaining to “destruction of democracy” was reproduced in the newspaper Times of India and notice was issued to him on both these tweets.
As regards this second tweet, Bhushan says that it constitutes a separate cause of action and the Court is required to initiate separate proceedings.
Bhushan says that he was served notice of the contempt action, but it was lacking a copy of the contempt petition, which is in violation of Rule 6(2) of the Rules to Regulate Proceedings for Contempt of the Supreme Court, 1975 framed under Article 145 of the Constitution. The application states,
“That “Action” includes conversion of petition to Suo Moto petition as regards the first tweet. “Shall be” vests an undilutable right in me. This right vests in me even under Suo Moto proceedings under Article 129 because Rules, 1975, have been framed under Article 145.”
Moreover, Bhushan states,
“if my preliminary reply where I explained my tweets and laid down the law of the land as to why the notice was not sustainable as against me is not acceptable to the Court then I invoke my right to lead evidence under Section 17(5) of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971.”
It is also highlighted in the application that according to the judgments of the Supreme Court, contempt proceedings are quasi-criminal in nature, and the standard of proof to be applied is that of beyond reasonable doubt.