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.
This is an excerpt from `Khaki Files` (published in Ebury Press and Blue Salt by Penguin Random House India, 2019) by Neeraj Kumar, a distinguished IPS officer who retired as Delhi police commissioner in 2013. He narrat
The Maharashtra State Commission for Women has urged the chief justice of India to take suo moto action in the matter of the Bombay high court converting to life imprisonment the death sentence of the two persons convicted for the brutal rape and murder of a Pune BPO executive in 2008. Chall
BSE StAR MF, India`s largest mutual funds distributor platform, is working on ways to transform itself into a unique end-to-end value-based services platform. It has achieved 61% share of equity net inflows (Rs 802.96 crore out of Rs 1311.65 crore) for the month November 2019. “T
Two weeks after the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) came to power in Maharashtra on November 28 following a month-long political tug of war, chief minister Uddhav Thackerey has announced cabinet portfolios, keeping the home department for his Shiv Sena party, while giving the allies NCP and the Congress finance an
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019 has been cleared by parliament, as the Upper House on Wednesday passed the legislation that seeks to grant Indian citizenship to non-Muslims from three neighbouring countries. “A landmark day for India and our nation’s ethos of compassion an
After a day-long debate which often turned acrimonious, the Lok Sabha has passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019, seeking to provide citizenship to non-Muslims from three neighbouring countries who have migrated to India. Prime minister Narendra Modi said he was “delighted&