Markandey Katju asks SC to quash Parliament resolutions on anti-Gandhi, anti-Netaji remarks
New Delhi: Former Press Council of India chief and retired judge Markandey Katju has filed writ petition before the Supreme Court seeking to quash resolutions passed against him in both House of Parliament over his anti-Gandhi and anti-Netaji remarks.
The retired judge has made the Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, Rajya Sabha chairman Hamid Ansari and respective secretary-general of both Houses as respondents in the case.
The Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha had passed resolutions on March 11 and 12 this year condemning the remarks made by Katju against Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi and Azad Hind Fouj founder Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.
In his petition, Katju has said that he had written e-mails to both the LS Speaker and RS Chairman saying that he was denied hearing prior to the passage of the resolutions against him. Katju said, no replies were given to his e-mails.
Justice Katju, in his petition, stated that "Gandhiji furthered the British Policy of Divide and Rule by alienating the Muslim population of the Indian sub-continent away from the national movement".
In his petition he said, "the post (in his blog) in respect of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, in short made the point that through his actions knowingly or unknowingly, he ended up perpetuating Japanese imperial interest in the Indian sub-continent."
Justice Katju stated that his statements made "as a private person, are academic in nature and are in fact a manifestation of scientific temper of a citizen."
Citing a previous SC judgement in Devidas Tuljapurkar case, Justice Katju said in his petition: "There can be no two opinions that one can express his views freely about a historically respected personality showing his disagreement, dissent, criticism, non-acceptance or critical evaluation."
"..the Petition has not committed any deplorable act in expressing his considered views about Netaji and Gandhiji, and the impugned resolutions are liable to be quashed", the petition says.
The petition says, the Parliament resolutions amount to violation of the petitioner's Right to Freedom of Speech & Expression, and also the Right to Life and Liberty guaranteed under the Constitution.