Supreme Court declared Prashant Bhushan guilty of contempt of court and imposed a fine of Re 1 on Monday. The apex court added that the lawyer-activist could face imprisonment for three months and a ban on practicing law for three years if he fails to pay the fine before September 15.

The top court acted on advice from Attorney General KK Venugopal and said in its verdict that “freedom of speech cannot be curtailed”. Bhushan, 63, was facing charges of contempt after he criticised Chief Justice of India SA Bobde in a series of tweets.
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Bhushan “gratefully accepted” the verdict and again took to Twitter to share smiling pictures of him posing with a Re 1 coin.

“My lawyer & senior colleague Rajiv Dhavan contributed 1 Re immediately after the contempt judgement today which I gratefully accepted,” Bhushan tweeted.

The SC further said in its judgement: “We gave several opportunities and encouragement to (Prashant Bhushan) to express regret. He not only gave wide publicity to the second statement but also gave various interviews to press.”

Bhushan was asked to apologize for the contempt but he refused the offer saying that apologising would be contempt of his conscience and the court. He added that his fight is to “safeguard the democracy and its values”.