If one put one’s views on a public domain, one had to be prepared for criticism
GN Bureau | August 3, 2015
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.
PM Narendra Modi’s yet another niftily acronymed scheme, UDAN – short for Ude ‘Desh Ka Aam Naagrik’ and otherwise called ‘Regional Connectivity Scheme’ in officialese – got off to a flying start on Thursday. Modi formally launched a flight from Shimla to Delhi, and
He accompanied his father to film studios in Chennai and helped him in designing sets, but Thota Tharrani wanted to be an artist. So he studied mural painting and print-making, but as luck would have it, he finally returned to tinsel town. And the world soon took note. In Mani Ratnam’s pa
Is the AAP headed for a split?
A sale-purchase agreement was signed between Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) and Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) for supply of high speed diesel (HSD) through the proposed 131 km Indo-Bangla friendship pipeline. The agree
The dismal performance of the Congress in the Municipal Corporations of Delhi elections forced party chief Ajay Maken to announce his resignation, ending an energetic effort to revive the party in the national capital. Ajay Maken, now 53, had taken over as the chief
The BJP’s clean sweep is not just a referendum on the Arvind Kejriwal government, but also could mark the beginning of the end of one of India’s youngest political parties, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). After the Bharatiya Janata Party’s massive win in the UP assembly elections, th