Prashant Bhushan

On the eve of the 73rd year of independence of our nation, the highest constitutional court of the country, The Supreme Court of India felt offended by couple of words tweeted by Sri Prashant Bhusan a responsible citizen of the country while exercising his fundamental rights guaranteed by the same Constitution which the Hon’ble Court has been entrusted to uphold. The Hon’ble Court which is the central pillar of the Constitution felt shaken by these words and held Bhusan in contempt of the Court. Mr. Prashant Bhushan, a senior lawyer of repute has been a champion of human and civil rights in the country. In the 30 years of his practice at the Supreme Court, he has pursued the cause of justice untiringly and fearlessly. Mr Bhusan has been working as an undeclared conscience keeper of the highest Court by bringing to its notice issues of immense importance such as forced lockdown of Jammu and Kashmir or the most recent Covid Mismanagement issues in the country, just to mention a few. The common people of this country seeking justice on fundamental issues always remain grateful to Prashant Bhusan for his proactive role and extraordinary human sensitivity. The Supreme Court, in holding him in contempt of itself, has sent a clear message that the right to freedom of speech and expression of citizens cease when it deals with criticism of itself. The judgment has a chilling effect on free speech and would deter individuals from voicing their bonafide opinions against institutions. The little man on the street would not dare speak truth to power, or would rather not speak at all. This is antithetical to the ethos of our vibrant democracy which thrives on multifarious opinions and criticism of every institution.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court has always held that it is not immune to criticism and the Court has broad shoulders to carry it. In fact, in the 70 years of its existence, the Hon’ble Supreme Court has adopted a magnanimously charitable attitude even when utterly uncharitable and unfair criticisms of its workings have been made out of bonafide concern for improvement. We strongly feel that the tweets were a bonafide expression of Mr. Bhushan to improve the administration of justice dispensation in the country and were made in larger interest of public. Thus, to quell such opinions with the mighty hand of law beckons a new chapter in the constitutional history of our nation where the judiciary is above and beyond all. This, to the minds of responsible and law abiding citizens is extremely worrisome.

We express our deep disappointment with the verdict of the Hon’ble Supreme Court and stand in solidarity with Mr. Prashant Bhushan and the cause of free speech in the country. We sign this petition with the hope that our Supreme Court, which has been constitutionally mandated to protect the rights of the citizens and the ideals enshrined in the Constitution, will preserve the rule of law and the majesty of Court which has been entrusted in it. At times of great despair, it is important to go back to the pages of history and remember the words of Hon’ble Supreme Court when Justice Krishna Iyer remarked “A free people are the ultimate guarantors of fearless justice.”

Towards a just and fearless society, we shall lead.

Again, we request all friends in Odisha to stand in solidarity with Prashant Bhusan on August 19, 2020 in groups by maintaining physical distance or even individually to communicate the message across the country that, we are duty bound to uphold freedom of speech and expression as guaranteed by the Constitution of India.

Signatures
1. Prafulla Samantara (National Advisor,NAPM)
2. Sudhir Patnaik (Editor, Samadrusti)
3. Prof Swadhin Pattanaik
4.Dr Debiprasanna Pattnaik
5. Shivaji Pattanaik (Ex MP)
6. Natabar Sarangi (Organic Farming Expert)
7. Prof. Manoranjan Mohanty
8. Rabi Das (Senior Journalist)
9. Kedar Mishra (Journalist)
10. Prof. Amiya Mohanty (Educationist)
11. Krishna Mohanty (President, Utkal Gandhi Smarak Nidhi)
12.Prof. Bijaya Bohidar (Educationist)
13.Dr Biswajit (National Convenor, Rashtriya Yuva Sangathan)
14. Panchanan Kanungo (Ex Minister)
15. Priyaranjan Sahu, Journalist
16. Radhakanta Sethy Ex MLA
17.Narayan Reddy (Ex MLA)
18. George Tirky, Ex MLA
19. Lingaraj Azad (Niyamgiri Surakhya Samitte)
20. Lingaraj (National Convenor, NAPM)
21. Biswapriya Kanungo
22. Jayant Das (AITUC, Odisha)
23. Deb Prasad Ray Mohapatra (Secretary, Lohia Academy)
24.Ashis Kanungo (State Secretary,CPI)
25. Ramakrushna Panda (National Council Member, CPI)
26. Ali Kishore Patnaik (State Secretary , CPIM)
26. Suresh Panigrahy (State Secretariat Member, CPIM)
27. Nigamanand Sadangi
28. Pramodini Pradhan
Bhagban Sahu
6. Malay Kumar Tripathy
7. Dr Biswajit
8. Sankar Sahu (State Secretary, AIKKS)
9. Ananta
10. Gopinath Majhi
11. Biswajit Mohanty
12. Er. Raja Suresh
HUMANIST RATIONALIST ORGANISATION ODISHA
13. Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
14. Prasanta Kumar Jena.
17. Lingaraj
18. Mahendra Parida
19. Kshirod Raut, Adv
20. Umaballav Rath (Ex-MLA)
21. Debi Prasad Prusti
22. Bishnu prasad Sharma
23. Sivaram (CPI-ML Red Star)
26. Madhusudan Sethy
27. Amiya pandav (Editor, The Akhyara)
28. Chandranath Dani
Human Rights Activist
29. Prasant Paikray
30. Siddharth Sankar Nagar (Adv)
31. Trilochan Punji
33. Gupteswar Panigrahy (Adv)
34. Manorama Khatua
35. Manoj Nayak. Balasore
36. Sankar Prasad Pani
37. Sandeep Pattnaik
38. Bhalacandra Sadangi
39. Srimant Mohanty
40. Pramila Behera (Basti Surakshya Mancha)
41. Sabyasachi, State Secretary, TUCI
42. Ranjan Mishra, RYFI Odisha
43. Tuna Mallick, Adivasi Bharat Mahasabha
44. Rajendra Prasad Barik, General Secretary, Parle Lingaraj Biscuits Workers Union
45. Radharani Moharana, AIRWO
47. Narendra Mohanty
State Convener,
Campaign Against Fabricated Cases(CAFC), Odisha,
48. Srikanta Mohanty
49. Salo Marandi
50. Saroj Mahanty, Editor, Anwesa
52. Dhirendra Panda
53. Prakash Harpal, (Adv) Bhawanipatana
57. Manas Pattanaik (Lokshakti Abhiyan)
58. Ashok Kumar Sahoo (CPI, BBSR)
59. Satish Mishra (Editor, Chhai)
60. Sanghamitra Jena (President, AISF)
61. Surya Narayan Nath (Rashtriya Yuva Sangathan)
63. Bijay Kumar Behera (CPI, Nayagarh)
64. Bhuban Chand Hati (RTI Activist, Nayagarh)
65. Bichitra Biswal (Columnist)
66. Subash Sahoo (Advocate, Odisha)
68. Alikishore Patnaik (CPI)
69.Pradipta Nayak (Human Right Activist)
70. Binod Kumar Sahoo (Advocate)
72.Biswanath Patra (Human Right Activist)
73.Gayadhar Dhal (CPIM, Kendrapara)
74. Rakesh Singh (President, Dalit Adivasi Mahasangha,Mayurbhanj)
75.Swadhin Kumar Panda (Social Activist, Puri)
77.Tusharkanti Mohanty (Advocate, Bhadrak)
78. Baidyanath Das (Gandhi Peace Foundation, Rourkela)
79.Birupakhya Tripathy (Journalist)
80. Sailej Ravi (Writer)
81. Manas Kumar Swain (Advocate, Cuttack)
82. Sangram Mallik (Human Right Activist)
83. Manas Ranjan Mishra (Gandhi Peace Foundation)
84. Rabinarayan Mallick
85. Zahir Khan (Satyagraha, Bhadrak)
86.Santosh Kumar Mohanty (RTI Activist, Mayurbhanj)
87. Justice Manoranjan Mohanty (Gandhi Peace Foundation)
89. Adikanda Raula (CPI, Kendrapara)
90. Ramani Ranjan Routray (CPI, Kendrapara)
91. Jyoti Ranjan Mohapatra (All India Forward Bloc)
92.Nimanchal Naik
93. Purna Pradhan
95. Aruna Jena (NAPM, Odisha)
98. Partha Sarathi Jena (Social Activist, Balasore)
99. Ashok Kumar Paikray
100. Bibhu Prasad Tripathy (Advocate)
101. Nalini Ranjan Pati
102. Prahalad Singh (Advocate)
103. Prashant Mishra (Senior Socialist Leader)
104. Simanchal Nahak (Rushikulya Rayat Mahasabha)
105. Rajesh Mahapatra (Journalist)


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