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'Insincere apology would amount to contempt of my conscience'

New Delhi: Activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan refused to offer an apology to the Supreme Court on Monday for his two tweets against the judiciary saying that an insincere apology would amount to the contempt of his conscience and of an institution.

Bhushan filed a supplementary statement in the suo motu contempt case against him by the top court, taking note of advocate Anuj Saxena's complaint.

An apology for expression of beliefs, conditional or unconditional, would be insincere, he said.

Bhushan said as an officer of court he believes as a duty to speak up when he believes there is a deviation 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, My tweets represented this bona fide 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.

Bhushan further said that an apology cannot be a mere incantation and any apology has to, as the court has itself put it, be sincerely made.

This is especially so when I have made the statements bona fide 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, he said.

Supreme Court will consider on Tuesday the effect of Prashant Bhushan's supplementary statement.

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