India’s Supreme Court accused of ‘stifling criticism’ with contempt case against leading activist-lawyer

Prashant Bhushan’s posts criticising the court and the motorbike-riding Chief Justice of India have been deleted by Twitter

The Supreme Court of India in Delhi continues to hold hearings virtually, even as most other lockdown restrictions have eased
The Supreme Court of India in Delhi continues to hold hearings virtually, even as most other lockdown restrictions have eased

More than 130 senior advocates, former judges, academics and activists have signed an open letter calling on the Supreme Court of India to drop contempt charges against a prominent human rights lawyer who tweeted criticism of the apex court.

Prashant Bhushan could face up to six months in prison after the Supreme Court initiated proceedings against him for “scandalising the court”, a charge which dates back to British colonial-era laws but has since been scrapped in the UK itself and many Commonwealth jurisdictions.

The court took issue with two tweets by Mr Bhushan, one of the country’s most high profile public interest litigators and rights activists. One criticised the Chief Justice of India Sharad Arvind Bobde for posing without a mask during lockdown on a Harley Davidson motorbike “belonging to a BJP (the ruling party) leader”.

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