Katju plea: SC to hear case to decide on parliament’s power to punish citizens

If one put one’s views on a public domain, one had to be prepared for criticism

GN Bureau | August 3, 2015


#katju   #mahatma Gandhi   #subhas bose   #facebook  

Saying that if one put one’s views on a public domain, one had to be prepared for criticism, the supreme court today (Monday) said that prima facie it feels that there is nothing wrong in parliament passing resolution against former judge Markandey Katju. But the court would hear the case filed by Katju as through this, a debate will ensue on whether the parliament can condemn the views of a citizen.

 On March 10, Katju had made two posts on his Facebook page on Mahatma Gandhi and Subhash Bose. "In the post, in respect of Gandhiji, (I) made the point that by constantly using religious symbolism in politics for decades, Gandhiji, in effect, furthered British policy of divide and rule by alienating the Muslim population of the Indian subcontinent away from the national movement. On Bose, I made the short point that through his actions, knowingly or unknowingly, he ended up perpetuating Japanese imperial interests in the Indian subcontinent."

The Rajya Sabha and The Lok Sabha had passed unanimous resolutions condemning and deploring his statement.

The court said the resolution did not violate his right to free speech and expression or in any way dent his reputation.

However, the apex court bench of justices TS Thakur, V Gopala Gowda and R Banumathi while agreeing to further hear the matter, appointed senior counsel Fali Nariman as amicus curiae as Justice Katju's counsel Gopal Subramaniam told the court that he could not have been condemned by parliament without being given an opportunity to be heard.

The apex court said that Justice Katju should be ready to face criticism for venting his opinion on a public platform.

Katju compared the action of members of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha in passing the resolutions in March this year to that of 'queen of hearts' in the novel 'Alice in Wonderland' who would say "off with his head" even before she would give a hearing to someone.

"It is basic principle of natural justice that no one should be condemned unheard. But paying scant regard to this principle, the members of both Houses of the Indian Parliament all flocked together with one voice to condemn me," he said in his petition prepared through former solicitor general Gopal Subramanium.

He argued that important questions of supremacy of the Indian Constitution and freedom of speech were raised, which required a debate.

Comments

 

Other News

Portrait of a scholar-activist as a young student

[Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd, scholar and dalit activist, has penned his autobiography which is more than just the life-story of an individual but promises to become a document for a generation and a community. We reproduce below an excerpt, with the permission of the publishers, where he talks about his yo

Informal power

Villages without power supply are easy to find though the government says there are none. The lines are laid, but many villagers are too poor to pay for electricity. BPL (below poverty line) families, entitled to free supply, are waived the installation charge. But they don’t have money to wire their

Vande Bharat halts midway near Tundla

In a major embarrassment to the railways, the much touted Vande Bharat Express developed a technical snag at Chamraula, 15 kms from Tundla junction.   Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the train on Friday from New Delhi station.    The train was

PM flags off India’s first semi high-speed train

Indian Railways entered a new era as prime minister Narendra Modi on Friday flagged off the country’s first semi high-speed train, Vande Bharat Express, from the New Delhi railway station. The new train is also seen as a success story of the NDA government’s ‘Make in India’

Estonia eyes on more e-Residents from India to open startups

Riho Kruuv, Ambassador of the Republic of Estonia talks to Vishwas Dass on key issues like the importance of e-Residency programme of the Government of Estonia and why Estonia is becoming a preferred investment destination for Indian startups and budding entrepreneurs. The Ambassador says Estonia offer

Happily working away!

There’s no dearth of self-help books. They come in a multitude of single-topic and hybrid varieties: habit change, management, habit change in management, spirituality, spirituality in management...you get the drift. Happiness at Work: Mindfulness, Analysis, and Well-Being, by R Anand, adds to the li

Current Issue

Current Issue

Video

CM Nitish’s convoy attacked in Buxar

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter