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.
As India celebrates 70 years of freedom, Governance Now looks back and picks 70 words – or phrases, buzzwords, slogans, events – that best define this ancient nation and young democracy. Here, you will find much to be proud of, much tinged with pangs of nostalgia. Then there are entries that
Dr Kenneth E Thorpe, a professor of health policy and management at Emory University in the US and also the executive director of Partnership to Fight Chronic Diseases (PFCD), says that the government alone cannot do everything. “They don’t have the resources and capacity. So we have to fin
Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a joint venture company of PSUs of ministry of power, signed an agreement with oil marketing companies (OMCs) of ministry of petroleum and natural gas for distribution of energy efficient appliances under the flagship Unnat Jeevan by Affordable LEDs and applianc
Union minister for civil aviation, P Ashok Gajapathi Raju inaugurated the upgraded passenger terminal building of Jammu airport. Notably, Jammu airport belongs to the Indian Air Force, and airports authority of India (AAI) maintains a civil enclave for civil aircraft operat
The election commission has become increasingly assertive in the past few months, showing its mettle in times of electoral challenges. Weeks after rooting from EVMs and just days after the poll panel declared votes cast by two rebel Congress legislators in the Rajya Sabha e
Is Amit Shah`s blueprint for 350-plus seats in 2019 Lok Sabha elections achievable?