Wednesday, April 21, 2021
Home Opinions The Judiciary and its inconsistencies when it comes to the principles of Freedom of...

The Judiciary and its inconsistencies when it comes to the principles of Freedom of Expression

Perhaps the greatest tragedy of these seeming inconsistencies is that people are of the opinion that faith in our great Judiciary seems to be waning, and there can be no greater tragedy in a vibrant democracy like India.

The Judiciary’s inconsistency in matters of contentious issues has been an intensely debated topic in recent times. The Supreme Court’s judgments and comments in matters of free speech certainly highlight the urgent necessity for some major introspection.

Article 14 of the Indian Constitution declares that every citizen of the country shall be treated equally before the Law. However, often, the judgements of the courts in matters concerning Article 14 display glaring inconsistencies.

The latest instance which has sparked the debate is the case of Prashant Kanojia who was arrested for objectionable social media posts on Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath. In the case of Kanojia, whose release was ordered today, Justice Banerjee of the Supreme Court waxed eloquence on the virtues of personal liberty. She said, “Liberty is a guaranteed by the Constitution and the fundamental rights are sacrosanct and non-negotiable.”

Contrast this to the opinions of the same Justice in the matter of BJP Karyakarta Priyanka Sharma’s arrest by the West Bengal Police for sharing a meme that was a caricature of Mamata Banerjee. The esteemed Justice Banerjee had then opined that although Freedom of Expression was non-negotiable, it cannot infringe upon another person’s rights.

Moreover, the Supreme Court insisted that Sharma apologize to Mamata Banerjee for sharing the meme. Initially, it had even said that she could be granted bail only after she made an apology. The apology was later waived off as a necessary condition for bail. However, the point still stands, it appears Sharma and Kanojia have been treated quite differently.

It’s not the only instance where the Supreme Court’s inconsistent stand on Freedom of Expression was on display in all its glory. When defence analyst Abhijit Iyer was arrested for hurting religious sentiments of Hindus by the Odisha government, the Court had denied him bail and said that the safest place for him to be was in jail.

Such inconsistencies by the highest Court of the country reflect extremely poorly on the esteemed institutions of the country.

Justice Chandrachud had once famously said, “Dissent is the safety valve of democracy.” The remark was made in connection with the ‘Urban Naxals’ case, something which had absolutely nothing to do with freedom of expression at all.

The inconsistencies are not restricted to matters of Free Speech alone. In the Sabarimala Temple verdict, the popular opinion was that the Supreme Court seemed overeager to trample upon the traditions of the Hindu faith. However, when it comes to Islamic practices, the same Court’s commitment appears to quiver.

In the matter of Diwali as well, firecrackers were banned last year by the Supreme Court allegedly, without taking into consideration the cultural significance and the livelihood that could be affected by its verdict. In March this year, however, the same Court asked why were people seeking a ban on firecrackers when automobiles appeared to cause more pollution. Experts believe that the Court banned firecrackers without any comparative study on their effects on pollution.

Perhaps the greatest tragedy of these seeming inconsistencies is that people are of the opinion that faith in our great Judiciary seems to be waning, and there can be no greater tragedy in a vibrant democracy like India.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

K Bhattacharjee
Black Coffee Enthusiast. Post Graduate in Psychology. Bengali.

Related Articles

Trending now

AAP supported farmer protests hampering war against Covid-19, oxygen supplier writes to GOI saying tankers delayed due to roadblocks by protestors

Inox Air Products said that they are facing delays in Delhi while transporting oxygen due to road blockades by the farmer protestors

After getting vaccinated himself, Rakesh Tikait says the Modi government will be responsible if farmers get COVID-19

Rakesh Tikait had recently said that 'farmers' protests is not Shaheen Bagh than can be stopped in the name of coronavirus

How China’s ‘Re-education through labour’ policy put minorities in labour camps even before the Uyghur crisis: About the Masanjia camps

The letter went into detail about the conditions at China's Masanjia Labor Camp, including the gruelling hours, verbal abuse and physical abuse

From sitting on upturned dustbins to photo ops at crematorium grounds, Barkha Dutt gets questioned for her ‘vulture journalism’

While the situation on ground is indeed grim, people on social media have been calling out the dramatics by journalists who could have perhaps focused on the news instead of their brand building.

Maharashtra FDA minister embarrasses his own govt and alliance leaders, says his ministry had approved Remdesivir procurement by BJP

Maharashtra FDA Minister and NCP leader Dr. Rajendra Shingne confirms that he was aware about BJP procuring Remdesivir for state govt

Journalism: The new performance art

With the COVID-19 pandemic, journalists have screamed "Beware of the Ides of March" to anyone who would listen - Barkha Dutt for example.

Recently Popular

Journalism: The new performance art

With the COVID-19 pandemic, journalists have screamed "Beware of the Ides of March" to anyone who would listen - Barkha Dutt for example.

IIT Kanpur Professor predicts COVID-19 to peak in May, dismisses claims of Kumbh and poll rallies being responsible for spread

The IIT Kanpur professor said that since the election rallies and the Kumbh are held in open spaces, there are few chances of it spreading the COVID virus

AAP supported farmer protests hampering war against Covid-19, oxygen supplier writes to GOI saying tankers delayed due to roadblocks by protestors

Inox Air Products said that they are facing delays in Delhi while transporting oxygen due to road blockades by the farmer protestors

Understanding the hate factory: How Rohan Joshi and his hateful post against Hindus gives us an insight into the ‘liberal’ mind

Comedian Rohan Joshi tells Bhakts, "I have nothing but contempt for them and nit a shred of empathy" as he mocks Coronavirus deaths

Why did 9 anti-Modi parties demand from Election Commission that rallies must be held?

Let us get into the dirt and start pointing fingers, if that is what everyone wants. How did the second wave come to be?

Suar ke bachche BJP, Suar ke bachche CISF: TMC leader Firhad Hakim asks peope to assault BJP workers, threatens CISF

Firhad Hakim threatened, "Let the elections get over. Then, our CID will take action against the 'progeny of pigs' CISF."
- Advertisement -

 

Connect with us

254,077FansLike
530,880FollowersFollow
24,200SubscribersSubscribe