On Thursday, as the Supreme Court heard arguments on sentencing in the contempt case against Prashant Bhushan, political party Swaraj India organised a protest in solidarity with the senior advocate.
Earlier int he day, the court had rejected Bhushan’s plea for hearing of his sentencing by another bench. Last week, Bhushan was held guilty of contempt of court for over two tweets about Chief Justice of India S.A. Bobde and the Supreme Court.
The court had said they could not be counted as a fair criticism of the functioning of the judiciary made in the public interest.
Live Lawquoted Bhushan as saying in court, “I am pained at the verdict that the Court held me guilty. I am pained that I am grossly misunderstood. I am shocked that the court concluded at the conclusion without providing any evidence about my motives.”
It also reported Bhushan as quoting Gandhi: “I do not ask for mercy. I do not appeal for magnanimity. I cheerfully submit to any punishment that court may impose”.
Over1,800 advocates had signed a statement asking for an open court hearing by a larger bench after the pandemic was over. After last week’s verdict, senior advocate Indira Jaising had told HuffPost India that it was “bad news for free speech”.
While the hearing went on, #HumDekhenge trended on Twitter. Swaraj India, a political party that Bhushan was a part of, began tweeting with the hashtag, apart from holding a physical protest outside the Supreme Court. Soon, many others picked up the hashtag, calling for justice for Bhushan.
Hum Dekhenge, a Urdu poem written by Faiz Ahmed Faiz, was a protest call during the anti-CAA protests recently .
It was penned as a mark of protest against General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq’s regime in Pakistan.
Here’s what people said on Twitter:
Protests outside Supreme Court in solidarity with Prashant Bhushan. Power of the People #HumDekhenge | #PrashanthBhushan pic.twitter.com/jQ0r2d93ge
— Swaraj India (@_SwarajIndia) August 20, 2020
Prashant Bhushan Conviction is Contempt Of Democracy…
We the People of India will Judge the Judges….
We are With Prashant Bhushan#HumDekhenge @SwarajIndiaMP1 @_NavnitTiwari @jigneshmevani80 @lokayat @kpsingh1966 @JADS_mp @hafizgandhi pic.twitter.com/e2c94K8SGZ
— MadhuSudan (@madhujanjagran) August 20, 2020
We will always remember the date 20th August 2020 because today Supreme Court will define democracy and freedom of expression once again.
Context – Prashant Bhushan’s Contempt of Court Case. pic.twitter.com/eDJhjiMY7b
— Shivam Pandey (@sherickp) August 20, 2020