The Supreme Court of India has reserved its order on the sentencing of senior advocate Prashant Bhushan. India's apex court has given Bhushan time till August 24 to submit an unconditional apology.
If Bhushan decides to tender an apology, a case for sentencing will be heard by the SC on August 25. The decision in this regard was taken by a three-judge bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra, BR Gavai and Krishna Murari.
A three-judge bench of the SC found noted advocate and activist Prashant Bhushan guilty of contempt over two tweets he posted on micro-blogging website Twitter. In one of his tweets, Bhushan had said that the last few chief justices of India had damaged the judiciary while he had criticised sitting CJI SA Bobde in another tweet.
On Thursday, the SC gave Bhushan's legal team two days' time to reconsider his statement where he refused to withdraw the statements he made in his tweets. Bhushan had filed a petition seeking deferment of sentencing which was dismissed by the court.
Bhushan had also argued in court that another bench of the SC should hear his plea on quantum of sentence. In its response, the bench that delivered the verdict said, “You (Prashant Bhushan) are asking us to commit an act of impropriety that arguments on sentencing should be heard by other bench.”
In a statement he issued later, Prashant Bhushan said, "I am pained, not because I may be punished, but because I have been grossly misunderstood."
"It would be insincere and contemptuous on my part to offer an apology for the tweets that expressed what was and continues to be my bonafide belief," the statement went on to add.