Judiciary and governance

Judiciary and governance

Judiciary and governance


A ruler must be a man of good character who trusts and solicits the advice of qualified experts, and who looks to surround himself with people of whom the same is true

A ruler must be a man of good character who trusts and solicits the advice of qualified experts, and who looks to surround himself with people of whom the same is true. To elect a man of dubious character to the high position in democracy as a gesture of frustration with the existing set of enfant terribles never serves the purpose of the nation. This is why the Supreme Court is forced to step in everyday to set the matters right. But how many wrongs could one force upon people?

The aggression of the governments seems to be limitless to the extent that the Apex Court was forced to observe that it needs to define the limits of sedition now. The Supreme Court has been flooded with petitions appealing against the sedition cases against citizens.

The case of a body being dumped in river Ganges which was aired by a media house has been taken up by the Apex Court suo motu. Some leaders in our country feel they could afford to introduce chaos into politics. But to renew the gesture under circumstances of pestilence, protest and penury would be masochistic. An act of national suicide.

In a sarcastic comment that conveyed its apparent displeasure at the manner in which governments viewed reporting of Covid-19 related issues by media, the Supreme Court on Monday quipped whether a sedition case has been initiated against a news channel which showed a dead body being dropped into a river from a bridge in Uttar Pradesh.

The remark was made by Justice D Y Chandrachud, who is heading a three-judge Bench hearing a suo motu case related to Covid-19 management. "A news report yesterday showed dead body was being thrown into river. I don't know if a sedition case has been filed against the news channel yet," Justice Chandrachud remarked.

This is not the first time the top court has been critical of governments registering cases against those seeking help via social media for Covid-related cases. The Supreme Court, in yet another case on Monday said that Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code which criminalises sedition, would require detailed interpretation with respect to its application to media and freedom of press.

"We are of the view that provisions of 124A and 153 of IPC require interpretation, particularly on the issue of the rights of press and free speech," Justice DY Chandrachud who was heading the Bench remarked. If a TV channel says something it cannot be called as sedition, he added.

The governments have become so thick-skinned that such observations carry no meaning for them. This country is not becoming intolerant. It is the rulers who are becoming so. They are not prepared to handle criticism the way it ought to be. This is a country where love has become 'jihad' unfortunately. Hence criticism is taken as sedition. Time for judiciary to take on other pillars of our democracy!

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