Recent judgement by the Indian Supreme Court which held prominent advocate Prashant Bhushan guilty of contempt of court will have grave resonance in countries like Sri Lanka which have a history of stifling dissent through the device of contempt.

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardena

(Kishali Pinto-Jayawardena is a civil liberties advocate, a columnist for The Sunday Times, Colombo and served on a Bar Council nominated committee in 2011 which drafted a Contempt of Court Act for Sri Lanka)

The recent judgement by the Indian Supreme Court which held prominent advocate Prashant Bhushan guilty of contempt of court will have a ‘chilling effect’, a term used authoritatively by the Warren Court to protect First Amendment rights of speech and expression in the US, beyond India.

It has grave resonance in countries like Sri Lanka which have a history of stifling dissent through the device of contempt.

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