Senior legal experts denounced the Delhi High Court’s remarks on nationalism while granting bail to JNU student leader Kanhaiya Kumar on Thursday
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]L[/dropcap]eading advocates said, Judge Pratibha Rani’s observations are a part of a judicial trend which needs to be curbed right away. One of them dubbed the Judge’s observations “totally uncalled for, unwarranted and unfortunate”.
According to the senior lawyers the judge appeared to be broadly espousing the official line on the events at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) where Kanhaiya Kumar was arrested on February 12 on charges of sedition.
At a meeting organised to mark the execution of parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, a militant from Jammu and Kashmir, Kanhaiya Kumar was accused of raising anti-India slogans. Kanhaiya Kumar has repeatedly denied the charge.
The high court judge, anted six-month interim bail to Kanhaiya Kumar. She reminded him about his fundamental duties, love for the country, nationalism and the sacrifices soldiers were making and the demoralising affect that anti-India slogans had on the families of martyrs.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]P[/dropcap]ointing out that the observations had been lapped up by government circles and rightwing groups, activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan told IANS: “It is a political rather than a legal judgment.
“The judge has no business to expound on nationalism or anti-nationalism which is not an offence under the law.”
He added: “Nationalism is not defined anywhere and is not a ground on which freedom of speech can be restricted.
“By expounding on this issue, the judge seems to have played into the hands of those who are using this as a political weapon to drum up fascist hysteria in this country.”
Echoing Bhushan’s sentiments, Supreme Court Bar Association president and senior counsel Dushyant Dave described the observations as “totally uncalled for, unwarranted and unfortunate”.
He added: “Judges must stay away from political debate.”
Saying Kanhaiya Kumar deserved unconditional bail, Dave said: “Nationalism is not a part of judges’ function to write about. They must confine to law and not emotive issues.”
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]F[/dropcap]ormer Delhi High Court judge Rupinder Singh Sodhi said that making loose observations was an unfortunate trend that the judiciary was adopting. “I think this trend has to stop now and immediately.”
Justice Sodhi, also a senior lawyer in the Supreme Court, says granting interim bail had no legal precedent.
“All bails are interim in nature and can be cancelled at any time. Ordinarily, an interim bail is granted to fulfil an extreme social obligation which the court can always accommodate. As a rule, bail can either be granted or dismissed.”
Another leading lawyer who did not wish to be identified by name said that while attempting to define nationalism in a pluralistic society, the judge seemed to have overstepped her judicial limits.
“Her observations are symptomatic of all that ails Indian judiciary and deserve to be expunged.”
‘We want freedom in India, not freedom from India’
Here is an excellent post on Kanhaiya Kumar’s speech soon after his release from the jail.
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If Courts are not supposed to advise students–who are supposed to attend colleges and Universities to study ,get their qualification and after passing out use the knowledge for the benefit of the society-who will?Students in this particular institution are debating,discussing without making any valuable contribution.Kanhaiya talked about freedom from various social ills.That makes for an attractive speech.How does he plan to do it?He has never specified the same.No one needs to be an activist of any political party or subscribe to any political/social/ideological narrative to bring around any change.Two Dalit widows were granted the position of priestesses in a Mangalore temple.Pandharpur temple trustees have begun the program of teaching, oppressed section of the society,how to perform pooja in temples.Now that is some change where they were not even permitted earlier.Laal Nishaan was not necessary there.Many non-Dalits have married Dalit boys in Mumbai.No one talked about Azzadi,just went with their desires.Kanhaiya talks about soldiers to remember about their relationship to the dying farmers etc.Was it not a kind of incitement?Was is not a call for making the soldiers question their loyalty to the nation.He is not as innocent as he looks.He can’t bring around any change in the society at all.He just wants RSS,BJP and MODI TO GO–JUST BECAUSE HE IS A COMMUNIST.This can’t be an ideology.The popularity he enjoys is disheartening.On the one hand the JNU students said they had a right to dissent when questioned about the so-called anti-national slogans.When they were made aware of the Hindustan Ki Barbaadi -slogan’s serious implications,they changed tack and declared that the slogans were raised by outsiders.Why stand up for outsiders?This Govt.is not foolish.There is something nasty going on in JNU.The judge had to remind him of his duty towards the constitution–which people quote all the time these days.Constitution was written when this secessionist tendencies were not foreseen.There was excitement over the new-found freedom.Today the situation is different.The U.S. activists/scholars will not understand India’s problems or actually want India to break.They-luckily for them-do not have to face secession as we do.Their freedom of speech and action-even if it involves burning their national flag-does not come to breaking the U.S. It stops at expressing one’s frustrations.The Opposition will face the heat of this activism if it comes to power,even if BJP is defeated.What will it do then?Will they support secession?It’s coming to that indirectly.There are forces at play which also try to divide the nation on Aryan-Dravidian lines.Many U.S. academics are into that.Evangelists are into that.JNU has to remember that and stop playing into the hands of anti-national forces even unwittingly.The Communists never accepted the concept of India as a nation.Their historians have consistently extolled the innocence of Mughals and have tried to exculpate them.M.A.Khan’s Islamic Jihad gives all the references.Unfortunately,the historians are very eminent by virtue of their U.S./U.K. earned degrees.The Hon.Judge probably knows this all and so she has freed Kanhaiya but spoken her mind.What’s wrong with that? Sad the legal luminaries talk against even this,get away with it and yet shout INTOLERANCE.