2020 suo motu criminal contempt case against #PrashantBhuahan begins.

Sr adv Rajeev Dhavan seeks permission to read out the supplementary statement by Bhushan.

But Justice Mishra says: "What's the point of reading it when we have already read it."
SC decides to hear Attorney General KK Venugopal first. "Tell us what is to be done. We expected a different statement."

AG starts by saying several sitting & retired judges have commented upon corruption in the higher judiciary.

Justice Mishra: That matter, we already adjourned earlier & sent it to an appropriate bench.

AG: These statements were perhaps only to tell the court about the facts and ask for reforms. It is a fit case to forgive him ( #PrashantBhushan).
Give him a warning and let him go, Venugopal submits in the #SupremeCourt .
Justice Mishra asks AG to refrain from citing comments by former judges of the #SupremeCourt or media reports.

"We shouldn't be getting influenced by media reports. We will rather hear what the AG has to say."
Mishra J to AG: What should be the punishment to him, in your opinion.

AG: A warning to tell him 'please don't repeat this in future.

Mishra J: There is a positive part of the statement by #PrashantBhushan in which he says he has faith in this institution. But at the same time he says, he won't apologise since be hasn't made any mistake. Everyone makes mistake but he person must also realise it. What to do now?
Mishra J: If a person says he didn't make a mistake and he won't apologise for it despite repeated opportunities, what will be the purpose of saying don't do it again. It is not about us or him. It is about the institution after all.

AG: I myself wanted to file a contempt against #PrashantBhushan when two CBI officers were fighting and he said I fabricated documents. But after he expressed regret, I withdrew. Let the democracy follow in this case when he has exercised his free speech.
AG: It will be tremendously appreciated if the court leaves it at that. Even if he says he hasn't done anything wrong, this court should take a compassionate view. I speak for the Bar also.

Mishra J: If he believes he has done no wrong, what's the purpose of this warning?
Gavai J: Mr AG, you too filed a contempt against Mr Bhushan and withdrew it only after he expressed regret. But that's not the case here.
Mishra J: He has made several disparaging remarks against this institution, judges of this court. Even in #Ramjanmabhoomi, only one judge has retired, rest of them are still in this court.

AG: He won't do this again.

Mishra J: Let him say this. It was so simple. The case was about two tweets but he later have colours to these tweets..filed additional explanations and arguments.
AG: Let his response be not considered

Mishra J: How can we not? Everyone is criticising us that we haven't considered his response which according to us is even more derogatory. Now if we remove it, we will be blamed we deleted this on our own. They still aren't asking for this
AG: He has expressed regret in the 2009 matter. Let him say this in the present matter too and say he expresses regret. That will be the statesmanship.

Mishra J: Ld AG, please read his reply. See what he has said, #SupremeCourt has collapsed. Isn't that objectionable?
AG: No. #SupremeCourt has done so much for the poor, undertrials. But this wasn't the subject matter of the case against him. Let him express regret.

Gavai J: And for that, we had given him 3 days.

Mishra J: He rather says consider my defence.
AG: Although it is too late for him to go back on what he has said, he can still express regret.

Mishra J cites another part from Bhushan's reply with allegations against judges.

This talks about bias in the impeachment against CJI case.

AG: That was rightly rejected.
Mishra J: His reply says this court is becoming executive-minded. What do you say to this? How do we not consider all this? Prioritisation of cases has also been adversely commented upon. Ayodhya case has been commented upon. Which judge is left out, sitting or retired?
AG on impeachment move: It was politically motivated.

AG: The question is what will be the purpose of inflicting punishment. Let them withdraw this affidavit.

Mishra J: But they have been asking us to consider this.
AG: Let this court show statesmanship and not use the powers of the contemp because of this affidavit.

Mishra J: For that they will have to withdraw it.

AG: Yes, they should withdraw all their statements.bibhave nothing more to say.

#SupremeCourt takes a break for 30 min.
Hearing resumes.

Sr adv Rajeev Dhavan starts by saying he wears two hats.

"My duty as an officer of the court isn't synonymous with my duty as a lawyer for my client. I can't shut my eyes from either of the two."

Dhavan on sentencing: This isn't an offender who doesn't acknowledge his duty towards the court. He has contributed so much to this court. AG is right in pointing that out.

Dhavan: I myself described former CJI JS Khehar as a Sultan in the court and I demonstrated why and how. There was no contempt case against me.

Dhavan goes on to cite his articles, books & comments to ask whether all that would mean scandalising the court.
Dhavan reminds Justice Mishra, as a judge in the Calcutta High Court, how he let go of Mamata Banerjee after she said all judges were corrupt.

"This institution must have criticism, & not just criticism but extreme criticism. Your shoulders are broad enough."
Dhavan: Another question is whether a defence can be a factor in determination of the sentence.

This is about Bhushan's reply affidavit in defence to the contempt notice.

Dhavan: If we read the last order that we give him time to submit an unconditional apology, it looks like as if a contemnor is coerced to give an apology so that it gets over. No court can pass an order like this. It was an exercise in coercion. This is wrong jurisprudence.
Dhavan: You must read the entire statement by #PrashantBhushan. You can't read it selectively or in part.

Dhavan is now reading out from Bhushan's supplementary statement to buttress his contentions.

Dhavan: If I am indicted for contempt tomorrow, what do you expect me to do? Not raise a defence? You cited some pages & said this is wrong, this is wrong. I can take you back to those pages & say all those were his bonafide beliefs.

Power cut at Dhavan's residence and he gets disconnected.

Mishra J: Attorney, there is no light.

AG: He has thrown so much light already.

Everyone is waiting for restoration of electricity at Dhavan's residence.
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