- Prashant Bhushan pays Re 1 fine
- Lawyer-Activist also files a review petition in the Supreme Court after paying the fine
- Bhushan said paying the fine does not mean he has accepted the verdict
As ordered by the Supreme Court of India, Lawyer-Activist Prashant Bhushan has paid Re 1 fine, however, after paying the fine, Bhushan, on Monday, filed a review petition in the top court against the judgement which convicted him and imposed the fine for the criminal court of contempt.
Earlier today, Prashant Bhushan said that him depositing the token fine of Re 1 does not imply that he has accepted the verdict of the Supreme Court of India and would file a review petition against the judgement.
Bhushan, who deposited the fine with the Supreme Court Registry over his two tweets seen in contempt of court, earlier said that he has received contributions from several corners of India for paying this fine of Re 1. He also said that a “truth fund” will be established out of such contributions to provide legal aid to those who have been prosecuted for dissenting opinions.
Before submitting the fine, Prashant Bhushan said, “Just because I’m paying the fine does not mean I have accepted the verdict. We are filing a review plea today. We have filed a writ petition that there must be an appeal procedure created for conviction under contempt,” while addressing the media.
Bhushan also said, “The State is using all means to silence voices of dissent. The ‘truth fund’ will be used to protect the personal liberty to those persons who face the State’s persecution”, who was accompanied by a group of people from Rajasthan.
The 63 year old lawyer also spoke about the arrest of a former student of the Jawaharlal Nehru University, Umar Khalid, for his alleged role in the Delhi riots and said that the government is using all sort of tactics to shut down its criticism.
Prashant Bhushan, earlier, said that his tweets were not intended in any way to disrespect the Supreme Court of India or the Indian Judiciary, but they were an expression of his anguish at what he felt was the Supreme Court’s deviancy from its respected record.
A bench which was headed by Retired (Retd) Justice Arun Mishra, asked Bhushan to deposit the fine by the 15th of September and if he fails to do so he could attract a jail term of up to 3 months and also debarment from law practice for a maximum of 3 years.
In his statement, Bhushan has said that he will not apologise to the Supreme Court of India for the tweets, saying what he had exercised was his freedom of speech and represented his bona fide belief which he continues to hold till date.