Finding him guilty of contempt, the Supreme Court on August 31 ordered senior activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan to pay a fine of Re 1 by September 15 in the contempt case.
If Bhushan fails to pay the penalty, he would be jailed for three months and will be debarred from practise as an advocate for three years.
The top court had reserved its verdict on the sentence in the case on August 25, a day after Bhushan filed a supplementary statement before it and refused to apologise in the contempt proceedings against him.
On August 14, the Supreme Court had held Bhushan guilty of contempt of court in the suo moto contempt case against him over his tweets about the Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde and the apex court.
In his supplementary statement, Bhushan had earlier said that his tweets represent his “bonafide belief” which he continues to hold.
“Public expression of these beliefs was, I believe, in line with my higher obligations as a citizen and a loyal officer of this court. Therefore, an apology for expression of these beliefs, conditional or unconditional, would be insincere," Bhushan had said.
"An apology cannot be a mere incantation and any apology has to, as the court has itself put it, be sincerely made,” he added.
During the hearing on August 25, the bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra gave Bhushan around 30 minutes to "think over" and reconsider his stand in the matter. However, Attorney General KK Venugopal urged the court to take a "compassionate view".Also read: Chronology of Prashant Bhushan's contempt case in the Supreme Court
"We have considered the sane advise given by the Attorney General, and have concluded that the conduct of present contemnor also needs to be taken into consideration,” LiveLaw quoted the bench as saying.
“In the matter also, we not only have an opportunity but also directly and indirectly persuaded the contemnor to express regret. This was not heeded to by the contemnor and he gave wide publicity to his statements,” the court said.