Top Stories[Breaking] “Offering An Apology Would Be Contempt Of My Conscience And That Of Supreme Court”: Prashant Bhushan Refuses To Apologize In Contempt Case [Read Affidavit] LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK24 Aug 2020 1:05 AMShare This – xAdvocate Prashant Bhushan has filed a supplementary affidavit before the Supreme Court, refusing to tender an apology with respect to the statements made by him over Twitter, in connection to functioning of the Supreme Court as well as the CJI. Bhushan said that the remarks made by him were a “constructive criticism” of the Court and therefore, retracting the same would amount…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginAdvocate Prashant Bhushan has filed a supplementary affidavit before the Supreme Court, refusing to tender an apology with respect to the statements made by him over Twitter, in connection to functioning of the Supreme Court as well as the CJI. Bhushan said that the remarks made by him were a “constructive criticism” of the Court and therefore, retracting the same would amount to tendering and “insincere apology”. He stressed that as an officer of the court, he has a duty to “speak up” when he believes that the Judicial institution is deviating from its sterling record. “Therefore I expressed myself in good faith, not to malign the Supreme Court or any particular Chief Justice, but to offer constructive criticism so that the court can arrest any drift away from its long-standing role as a guardian of the Constitution and custodian of peoples’ rights,” he said. He said that he made bonafide remarks with full details. However, the same has “not been dealt with by the Court”. Thus, declining to tender an apology Bhushan said, “My tweets represented this bonafide belief that I continue 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.” He stressed that an apology cannot be a “mere incantation” but has to be made sincerely. “This is especially so when I have made the statements bonafide and pleaded truths with full details, which have not been dealt with by the Court. If I retract a statement before this court that I otherwise believe to be true or offer an insincere apology, that in my eyes would amount to the contempt of my conscience and of an institution that I hold in highest esteem,” the affidavit filed through Advocate Kamini Jaiswal read.He added,”I believe that the Supreme Court is the last bastion of hope for the protection of fundamental rights, the watchdog institutions and indeed for constitutional democracy itself. It has rightly been called the most powerful court in the democratic world, and often an exemplar for courts across the globe. Today in these troubling times, the hopes of the people of India vest in this Court to ensure the rule of law and the Constitution and not an untrammeled rule of the executive.” He said he read the SC order dated August 20 where he was asked to reconsider his statements with “deep regret” and responded thus”I have never stood on ceremony when it comes to offering an apology for any mistake or wrongdoing on my part. It has been a privilege for me to have served this institution and bring several important public interest causes before it. I live with the realization that I have received from this institution much more than I have had the opportunity to give it. I cannot but have the highest regard for the institution of the Supreme Court.” On August 14, a 3-judge bench of the Supreme Court had held Bhushan guilty of contempt of court for his tweets against the SC and the Chief Justices of India. During the hearing on the sentence held on August 20, Bhushan affirmed his comments and made a statement justifying his comments and expressed dismay at the Court verdict. “My tweets were nothing but a small attempt to discharge what I considered to be my highest duty at this juncture in the history of our republic. I did not tweet in a fit of absence mindedness. It would be insincere and contemptuous on my part to offer an apology for the tweets that expressed what was and continues to be my bonafide belief. Therefore, I can only humbly paraphrase what the father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi had said in his trial: I do not ask for mercy. I do not appeal to magnanimity. I am here, therefore, to cheerfully submit to any penalty that can lawfully be inflicted upon me for what the Court has determined to be an offence, and what appears to me to be the highest duty of a citizen.”, Bhushan said. The bench was not appreciative of the statement and asked Bhushan if he would like to reconsider it. The bench also asked Attorney General about granting time to Bhushan to reconsider the statement. AG agreed that time can be given to him. However, Bhushan stood by the statement and said that it was “well considered and well thought of”. He said that granting time “will not serve any purpose” as “it was unlikely” that he will change it. Nevertheless, the bench said that it will give him two or three days for him to reconsider the statement, and posted the matter for hearing on August 25. Speaking at a Facebook Live session organized by the Students Federation of India on the topic “Decoding Democracy” on Saturday, Bhushan stressed on the need to speak truth to power and said that one should be prepared even to go to jail for that. “We are at a difficulty juncture of history. We have to understand the worst assault that our Republic has ever seen on every value of the Constitution. Every institution set up the Constitution is under attack. We need to resist that. There is a concerted attempt to convert India into a Hindu State. There is an attempt to prevent people from speaking up. We need to resist that. We need to speak out. We need to speak truth to power. And, in that process, if they try and victimize us, they try and jail us, we should be prepared to suffer that. If we are not prepared for that today or tomorrow, then there will be nothing left to fight for”, Bhushan said.Click Here To Download AffidavitRead Affidavit Subscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Story
kali9/iStockBY: JOSHUA HOYOS AND IVAN PEREIRA, ABC NEWS(NEW YORK) — Investigators from two states are looking into a fatal accident that took place in South Dakota on Saturday night and involved state Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg, who initially told the authorities his car hit a deer.Ravnsborg, 44, was traveling west on U.S. Highway 14, one mile west of Highmore, S.D., in his Ford Taurus and allegedly struck Joseph Boever, 55, around 10:30 p.m., according to South Dakota’s Highway Patrol.“The driver . . . told the Hyde County Sheriff’s Office that he had been involved in a car-deer crash. The driver was not injured,” the highway patrol said in a news release.Boever’s body was found the next morning, according to the highway patrol.Boever’s cousin, Victor Nemec, told the Sioux Falls Argus Leader that Boever’s truck hit a pile of hay earlier in the day and he was given a ride back home. He said he was supposed to go back to his cousin’s home on Sunday to assist in fixing the truck.Nemec said he thinks Boever walked along the highway Saturday night to get to the truck.Nemec told ABC-TV affiliate Dakota News Now he hasn’t been contacted by the state and he believes it is being tight-lipped about the investigation.“It seems like there has been a lot of foot-dragging and lack of investigating going on,” Nemec told the station.Tim Bormann, Ravnsborg’s chief of staff, told ABC News that the attorney general was driving home from a dinner party hosted by the county’s Republican Party. The “Lincoln Day Dinner,” which charged guests $50 in advance and $30 at the door, included a raffle to win a .45 handgun with “Donald Trump 45th,” and “Make America Great Again” engraved into the barrel, according to the event’s page on the South Dakota Republican Party’s website.Bormann said he doesn’t believe that Ravnsborg drank at the event.“It has been his policy since the time he was a candidate that he does not typically drink at Lincoln Day Dinners or political events of this sort. We have no reason to doubt that he did not continue that trend,” he told ABC News.Ravnsborg was working from home Monday and said in a statement that he will cooperate with the investigation.“At this time I offer my deepest sympathy and condolences to the family,” he said in a statement.South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem first revealed the news of the accident Sunday evening. In addition to the South Dakota Highway Patrol, the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation will investigate the fatal accident, since the South Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation is under the attorney general’s jurisdiction, according to Bormann.Ravnsborg, who was elected in 2018, has a string of previous driving violations, according to state records. He pleaded guilty to speeding six times between 2014 and 2018 and paid fines between $19 and $79, according to state records.He was also cited for a seat belt violation in 2017 and paid a $25 fine, according to state records.Investigators have not determined if speeding was a factor in Saturday’s accident.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.
The farmout deal was to see Doriemus assigned a stake of 50% and operatorship of the onshore Western Australia block L15 The farmout deal was announced in March 2019. (Credit: Pixabay/Terry McGraw) UK-based oil and gas firm Doriemus is set to pull out from a farmout agreement made with Rey Resources pertaining to Production Licence L15 in Western Australia.The farmout deal was announced in March 2019 with an aim to bring back the West Kora 1 well, contained in the licence, into economic production. The deal was to see Doriemus assigned a stake of 50% and operatorship of the L15 block, subject to receipt of government approvals.However, its notice of withdrawal sent to the Australia-based Rey Resources ceases its right to earn an interest in the L15 permit and also results in the termination of the agreement.Rey Resources said that it will continue to be the 100% holder of the permit and will look for new partners for the development of L15.Spanning 163km2, the onshore block, located 20km east of Derby, has an estimated 380,000 barrels of 2P Reserves.L15, which was granted in 2010 to Rey Resources, contains the West Kora oilfield whose last production was in 1996.Doriemus to focus on closing a deal signed with OilexDoriemus said that it plans to focus on wrapping up a proposed acquisition of certain oil and gas assets in the onshore Cooper-Eromanga Basin in South Australia from Oilex.As per a binding heads of agreement (HOA) signed last month, the UK firm will acquire 100% of CoEra, a fully-owned subsidiary of Oilex to gain 79.33% direct interest in two petroleum exploration licences PEL 112 and PEL 444, and the right to acquire 27 petroleum retention licences (Northern Fairway PRLs) from Senex.Doriemus also revealed plans to continue assessing the status of each of its remaining assets in the UK and wherever possible, would look to potentially rationalise them for strengthening its balance sheet.The company’s operations are focused on the Weald Basin in Southern England, where it has interests in the Horse Hill and Brockham licences and the Isle of Wight. It also has farm-in interests in the northern Canning Basin in Western Australia.