Independence of Bar is Necessary for Survival of Democracy; Prashant Replies to DBC

In reply to the letter dated 21.09.2020 of the Delhi Bar Council, Prashant Bhushan has submitted his response.

Earlier Mr. Bhsuhan was convicted by the Supreme Court for Contempt of Court and thereafter Bar Council of India directed Delhi Council to examine the matter

Mr. Bhushan has submitted that he has filed a Review Petition i.e. R.P (Crl) Diary No. 19807 of 2020 against the judgment dated 14.08.2020, which is pending before the Hon’ble Supreme Court. 

He furhter states that he has also filed a writ petition W.P.0 1053 of 2020 seeking directions for an intra-court appeal in cases of an original criminal conviction by the Supreme Court, which is also pending before the Hon’ble Court. 

In addition to the above, he will also be filing a review petition against the judgment dated 31.08.2020 passed in the same case regarding the issue of sentencing. 

Therefore, in view of above Mr. Bhushan has submitted tat in case the Bar Council of Delhi decides not to drop the proceedings against him, then he request that further proceedings be put on hold till the above petitions are decided.

So far as initiation o Disciplinary Proceedings are concerned he submits that the Supreme Court judgments holding him guilty of criminal contempt and further sentencing him for the same, are against  independence of the Bar and freedom of speech.

He added that from a bare reading of the two tweets it is apparent that there was nothing contemptious in that and it was within the right of freedom of speech and expression.

Mr. Bhushan relied upon the Judgment of Supreme Court in the case of of Supreme Court Bar Assn. v. Union of India ((1998) 4 SCC 409) to submit that merely because he has been held guilty due to the tweets, it would not necessarily constitute “professional or other misconduct”

He has submitted that through his tweets he had tried to raise voice against non resuming of normal functioning of court, due to which people’s right to access to justice was getting affected

Further, it has been stated thatunder Section 24A of the Advocates Act convition for contempt entails no disqualification.

In the end Mr. Bhushan requested the Bar Council of Delhi that no proceedings be initiated against him and also the BCD should  stand in support of the freedom of speech and expression of the Bar as the very dignity, freeedom, rights and independence of the Bar are at stake. 

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