Monday, August 8, 2022

Prashant Bhushan slams Centre, says government using all means to silence dissent

Citing media reports that CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury, psephologist Yogendra Yadav and others have been arraigned as accused in the supplementary charge sheet in the northeast Delhi violence case, senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan on Monday accused the Central government of using all means to silence those expressing dissent.

Notably, Delhi Police had yesterday refuted media reports that CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury, psephologist Yogendra Yadav and economist Jayati Ghosh and others were arraigned as accused in the supplementary charge sheet.

‘Last night, Umar Khalid was arrested only because he was supporting the anti-CAA protests. Sitaram Yechuri, Yogendra Yadav, Jayati Ghosh, Apoorva Nand have all been named in their charge sheet only because they were opposing an unconstitutional law,’ Bhushan told reporters.

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He said that the government is using every means available to silence those expressing dissent or criticising the government and added that a truth fund has been started to defend these people.

Bhushan, who was earlier held guilty of contempt of court over his tweets and fined Re 1 for the same by the Supreme Court, also said that he will submit the fine in the registry today.

‘I am going to submit the Re 1 fine imposed on me in the contempt of court case. I am going to take a Re 1 draft and submit it to the registry. The amount for this draft has been collected and sent to me from several movements across the country,’ Bhushan said.

‘Submitting this fine does not mean that I accept the verdict of the Supreme Court. We are also filing a review petition in the matter today. Two days ago, we had also filed a writ petition for an appeal against conviction in criminal contempt cases to be heard by a larger bench,’ he added.

Earlier, Bhushan was convicted and a fine of Re 1 was imposed on him by the Supreme Court in connection with a suo motu criminal contempt of court case over two of his tweets.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court is also hearing another contempt of court case against Bhushan for his interview to a magazine in 2009 in which he was quoted as saying that half of the 16 former Chief Justices of India (CJIs) were corrupt.

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