IF YOU MAKE A COMMENT ON PROPHET MUHAMMAD IN INDIA, YOU LOSE YOUR JUDICIAL RIGHTS AS A CITIZEN – That is the gist of what the Indian Supreme Court’s vacation Bench said.
That is shocking and alarming. It is effectively, curtailing the freedom of speech, inciting Muslims to react more violently and creating a society where Islamophobia becomes an allegation!!
CONSTITUTION OF INDIA
By my understanding, the Article 19(1)(a) of Indian Constitution says “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression, this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”
The Freedom of Speech and Expression is a fundamental right guaranteed to all citizens under the Constitution of India. However, the Constitution does not guarantee an absolute individual right to freedom of expression. Instead, it envisages reasonable restrictions that may be placed on this right by law. The restriction mentioned are defamation, contempt of the court, decency or morality, security of the state, friendly relationship between India with other country, incitement for an offence, public order and maintenance of the sovereignty and integrity of India.
JUDGES DECORUM IN THE COURT
The judge’s behaviour in the court with the plaintiff was absolutely uncalled for. They were not the trial court and they were primarily meant to decide on the write petition by Nurpur Sharma where she pleaded that all the FIRs registered against her across the country should be clubbed together and transferred to Delhi.
The judges rejected this petition, not on a point of law but because of her Prophet remark they conveyed she had lost her rights as a citizen to get this lawful relief!! It is unfortunate for the judges to allege she has a “loose tongue” and is “single-handedly responsible for what is happening in the country” including in Udaipur where a tailor was hacked to death for allegedly sharing her remarks.
Forgetting that her remarks were in response to the provocative and derogatory remarks on Hindu deities on a TV debate which were manipulated by a Muslim fact-checker! I wonder if anything more can be so devoid of any logic or sensibility. Instead of sympathising the threat she is facing, she was called a security threat.
IMPEACHMENT OF JUDGES:
In my view, these judge’s conduct was not lawful and they acted against the settled principles of law and decorum. The Government may initiate procedure for their impeachment under Art. 124(4) for the following reasons:
1- Under writ petition jurisdiction, the judges had no right to make any comments on the matter which is under investigation and FIR has been registered. The remarks of the judge, “What has Delhi Police done? Don’t make us open our mouth” shows the misdirected arrogance of the judges.
2- These remarks are indeed tantamount to influence the lower judiciary and the investigation. Their criticism of Police for not arresting the plaintiff is a direct and blatant violation of law. The judges have clearly shown their bias in a matter which has yet to be tried and with the Police under investigation.
3- One of the judges remarks “What if she is the spokesperson of a party? She thinks she has back-up power and can make any statement without respect to the law of the land?” shows a deep rooted bias against the elected Government of the country as well as the conduct of BJP was not under question in this writ.
4- Their very comments are likely to flare up sentiments on both sides of the religious spectrum as they have clearly taken sides and aided and abetted polarisation.
5- By refusing to give a citizen of the country the due relief of clubbing FIRs registered country wide, the judges have put her life under direct threat, the protection of which is an absolute right.
6- These two judges have indeed given the Muslims an assured line of action; FOR anything deemed provocative, no matter even if you burn the whole country, the other side speaking the truth would be responsible for “igniting emotions across the country”. Infact their remarks encourage Muslims to react violently and aggressively against any deemed blasphemy of prophet Muhammad.
For all these reasons I believe these judges should be shown the exit door. These judges now are trying to regulate the digital and Social media instead of correcting themselves.
Its appalling that Hinduism has become an endangered faith in Hindustan!
*Article originally published on facebook
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Khalid Umar lives in UK. He is a secular humanist, who supports freedom of speech as a Universal Right.