THE World Sikh Organization of Canada on Monday said that it stands in solidarity with Indian lawyer Prashant Bhushan who was fined one rupee by the Supreme Court of India (SCI) for tweets critical of the court and its Chief Justice. Last June, Bhushan posted a single sentence tweet about eroding freedoms in India and the role of the SCI.
The SCI took suo motu notice of the tweets and initiated contempt of court proceedings against Bhushan. Bhushan was found guilty by the court on August 14.
WSO President Tejinder Singh Sidhu said: “Prashant Bhushan’s strength and courage have been inspirational throughout his legal career and his most recent decision to not apologize for his criticism of the Supreme Court of India has been no different. There is no question that India is facing a human rights crisis and the role of the judiciary has been incredibly disappointing. Prashant Bhushan’s conviction for contempt of court has galvanized the legal and human rights communities in India and is a wakeup call against growing authoritarianism and the crackdown on freedom of expression. We salute Prashant’s courage and are proud to call him a friend.”
Bhushan’s first tweet read, “When historians in the future look back at the last six years to see how democracy has been destroyed in India even without a formal Emergency, they will particularly mark the role of the SC [Supreme Court] in this destruction, and more particularly the role of the last four CJIs [Chief Justices of India].”
The second referred to CJI Sharad Arvind Bobde: “The CJI rides a Rs 50-lakh [Rs 5 million]motorcycle belonging to a BJP [Bharatiya Janata Party] leader at Raj Bhavan, Nagpur, without wearing a mask or helmet, at a time when he keeps the SC on lockdown mode denying citizens their fundamental right to access justice!”