This research paper focuses on drawing a constructive comparison between contempt of court and freedom of speech and expression. The courts being the institution to interpret the law, has to interpret that what amounts to its own contempt and also that is the freedom of speech and what is its extent and under what circumstances it can be curbed. So, the dilemma between the contempt of court law and freedom of speech and expression, and under various circumstances courts have opted for different explanations interpreting that what should and should not amount to contempt. This research paper explains the extent of right to freedom of free speech while comparing it with the contempt law, further, what is the history of contempt law and what are the various provisions of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971.
Also, this research paper contains a detailed study of the “one rupee contempt case”, i.e., the contempt case of 2020 related to Adv. Prashant Bhushan. This case was a perfect example to showcase the drawbacks and ambiguity in the contempt law in India. In a shocking turn of events, when the public has to sadly sit in their homes, diplomatic statements came out in this case and at the end, Bhushan had to pay the consequences for the offence for which he was held guilty and he had to pay the fine, a wholesome amount of Re. 1.
In present times, it is very important to know the extent of one’s right and when can it be curbed and to what extent. Therefore, in India, what is the law of contempt, prevention of scandalization of court or a scandal to curb free speech?