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Prashant Bhushan moves Supreme Court seeking review of judgment

imposing 1 rupee fine on him for Contempt of Court

(Bar & Bench): Advocate Prashant Bhushan has moved the Supreme Court seeking a

review of its judgment of August 31 which imposed a token punishment of a Re 1

fine on him after finding him guilty of contempt of court.

Bhushan has also prayed for an open court hearing of this review petition and for the

larger questions of constitutional importance pertaining to contempt of court to be

referred to a larger bench.

In the instant review petition filed through Advocate Kamini Jaiswal, Bhushan argues

that in the sentencing, the Court has imposed a fine on him and in the event, he

defaults, he was liable to be barred from appearing before the Apex Court for a

specified period of time.

While the contingency of default does not arise in the light of fact that the fine stands

paid, Bhushan avers that at no point during the hearing on sentencing was the

possibility of being barred indicated by the Court. The petition says, "At no point was

petitioner put to notice that the court was contemplating such a drastic action against

him."

Moreover, Bhushan claims that the judgement is per incuriam as no semblance of

procedure has been followed by the Court. He seeks to highlight that he was not

furnished with a copy of the complaint filed against him in line with the Rules to

Regulate Proceedings for Contempt of the Supreme Court, 1975. He further argues

that he was prevented from filing an additional reply before the Court when his

preliminary reply was found unsatisfactory.

Another ground raised is that imposing any punishment on a person who has been

convicted for contempt of court which is not strictly in accordance with the types and

quantum of punishments prescribed under Section 12 of the Contempt of Courts Act,

1971, is violative of Article 20(1) of the Constitution.

Further, the Court's ruling that a sentence of imprisonment would be imposed on him

if he defaulted in payment of the fine is disproportionate and contrary to provisions of

the Code of Criminal Procedure, Bhushan adds.

Another "error apparent on the face of the record" is that the Court failed to consider

truth as a defence to the contempt charges against Bhushan, the plea states.

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