Skip to main content

Recent SC order has 'direct bearing' on civil liberties in India: top world academics

By Our Representative 

Eleven world renowned academics have said, they are "deeply disturbed" by some of the recent judgements of the Supreme Court, which have a direct bearing on the future of civil liberties and human rights in India" even as drawing attention, in particular, to the judgement in the Zakia Jafri case, which "raises three disturbing questions."
In a plea to the Supreme Court, the academics said, "First, since the petitioners had challenged the findings of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) report that gave a clean chit to the Gujarat government for the riots following the Godhra incident, and asked the Supreme Court to order an independent investigation, for the Court to dismiss their appeal on the basis of the very same impugned SIT report seems to us to be unjust."
Secondly, they said "while dismissing the petitioners' appeal, the "Court has quite gratuitously and wholly unfairly attributed ulterior motives to the petitioners. This has even emboldened the executive to arrest co-petitioner Teesta Setalvad, along with witness RB Sreekumar, both of whom have also been denied bail."
They added, "If any patient, prolonged, peaceful, and entirely legitimate pursuit of justice through the due process, is called 'keeping the pot boiling', then this remark, quite apart from being offensive, discourages people from approaching the Court on any matter relating to excesses or dereliction on the part of the executive."
Thirdly, the academics said, the Court has passed "these uncalled-for obiter dicta without even giving a hearing to those against whom these remarks are directed", underlining, "this sets an unfortunate precedent in jurisprudence."
Dismissing Teesta Setalvad's and RB Sreekumar's appeal, the Court unfairly attributed ulterior motives to the petitioners
The academics who have signed the plea are -- Bhiku Parekh, House of Lords, UK; Noam Chomsky, professor emeritus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US; Arjun Appadurai, professor, Max Planck Institute, Germany; Wendy Brown, Professor, Institute of Advanced Studies, Princeton, US; Sheldon Pollock, professor emeritus, Columbia University, US; Carol Rovane, professor, Columbia University, US; Charles Taylor, professor emeritus, McGill University, Canada; Martha Nussbaum, professor, University of Chicago, US; Robert Pollin, professor, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, US; Akeel Bilgrami, professor, Columbia University, US; and Gerald Epstein, professor, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, US.
The plea asserted, "Apart from the brief period of the Emergency, the Indian Supreme Court has generally played an honourable role in defending the democratic commitments of the country, which is why we are dismayed by the recent tendency discernible in the Zakia Jafri judgement."
It urged the Supreme Court to take "suo motu notice of the fall-out of the judgement in this case, to expunge the derogatory remarks contained in it, and to dismiss the cases against those who have been arrested on the strength of these remarks."

Comments

TRENDING

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

'Wedding of the century': What does Mukesh Ambani want to prove by such extravaganza?

By NS Venkataraman*  Mukesh  Ambani,   a renowned Indian industrialist who is said to be the richest person in India and  one of the richest persons in the world,   has just now conducted the wedding celebration of  his son in Mumbai,   with unheard level of lavishness in India.

'28% rise in sedition cases': Top global NGO alliance rates India's civil space 'repressed'

By Rajiv Shah Rating India's civic space as repressed , Civicus, a global civil society alliance, in its new report submitted to the UN Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) on the state of civic space in the country has said that the use of sedition law against the Modi government’s critics continues. "Under the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, sedition cases have increased by 28 per cent with over 500 cases against more than 7,000 people", it says.

'Anti-poor stand': Even British wouldn't reduce Railways' sleeper and general coaches

By Anandi Pandey, Sandeep Pandey*  Probably even the British, who introduced railways in India, would not have done what the Bhartiya Janata Party government is doing. The number of Sleeper and General class coaches in various trains are surreptitiously and ominously disappearing accompanied by a simultaneous increase in Air Conditioned coaches. In the characteristic style of BJP government there was no discussion or debate on this move by the Indian Railways either in the Parliament or outside of it. 

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

How embracing diversity enriched my life, brought profound sense of joy

By Mike Ghouse*  If you can shed the bias towards others, you'll love the connections with every human that God or his systems have created. This gives a sense of freedom and brings meaning and joy to life. Embracing and respecting how people dress, eat, and practice their beliefs becomes an enriching experience.

Banned Maoist party protests in Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, claims support across globe

By Harsh Thakor*  Despite being a banned and designated as terrorist organisation under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act since 2009, the Communist Party of India (Maoist) is said to have successfully implemented a one-day bandh across Kolhan division in Jharkhand on July 10th, with repurcussions in the neighbouring Chhattisgarh. The bandh was called to protest against alleged police brutality in the Kolhan-Saranda region.

Post-poll mob lynching spree, bulldozer justice: NAPM seeks united resistance

Counterview Desk  Condemning what it calls "the horrific spree of mob lynchings across the country after the Lok Sabha election results", India's premier civil society network, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), has called for "united resistance" against "hateful communal politics, mob lynching of religious minorities and caste-based oppression".

Hindutva economics? 12% decline in manufacturing enterprises, 22.5% fall in employment

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  The messiah of Hindutva politics, Narendra Modi, assumed office as the Prime Minister of India on May 26, 2014. He pledged to transform the Indian economy and deliver a developed nation with prosperous citizens. However, despite Modi's continued tenure as the Prime Minister, his ambitious electoral promises seem increasingly elusive.