The Bar Council of India has asked the Delhi Bar Council to examine tweets by advocate Prashant Bhushan, which are at the centre of a contempt case against him, and decide whether they amount to professional misconduct and merit his disqualification, Live Law reported on Friday. The decision was taken at the organisation’s General Council meeting held on Thursday.
The Bar Council of Delhi, where Bhushan is enrolled as an advocate, has also been directed to make a decision in the case as expeditiously as possible.
“The Council is of the view that the tweets and statements made by Shri Prashant Bhushan, Advocate and the Judgment of the Hon’ble [honourable] Supreme Court of India needs thorough study and examination by the Bar Council in the light of the statutory duties, powers and functions conferred on it under the Advocates’ Act, 1961 and the rules framed thereunder, particularly, Section-24A and Section-35 of the Advocates Act, 1961 and Chapter-II, Part-VI of Bar Council of India Rules,” the organisation said in a press release.
Section 24A of the Advocates Act, 1961 deals with the disqualification of advocates for enrollment while Section 35 relates to punishment for misconduct.
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On August 31, a Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra had ordered Bhushan to pay Re 1 as fine in the contempt case. The senior advocate was held guilty of contempt of court on August 14 for two tweets. In one tweet, he made a remark about an undeclared emergency and the role of the Supreme Court and last four chief justices of India. The second tweet was about Chief Justice SA Bobde trying a Harley Davidson superbike in his hometown Nagpur during the coronavirus outbreak.
Bhushan had said that he would respectfully pay the fine but stood by his statement that his tweets were an honest criticism of the judiciary and refused to apologise.
The advocate is facing another contempt case for an interview to Tehelka magazine in 2009, in which he made allegations of corruption in the Supreme Court and said half of the previous 16 chief justices were corrupt. On August 25, the Supreme Court referred the case against to a different bench, which will hear it on September 10.