New Delhi: Retd Justice Markandey Katju, former apex court judge, on Monday moved the Supreme Court seeking quashing of resolutions passed against him by both Houses of Parliament for calling Mahatama Gandhi and Subhash C Bose as British and Japanese “agents” respectively.
The former judge, in his Facebook post, alleged that both Houses of Parliament condemned him for his statements “calling Gandhi a British agent, and Subhas Chandra Bose a Japanese agent” without even giving him a hearing.
A former chairperson of the Press Council of India, Justice Katju, who also annexed the copy of his petition with his facebook post, has sought quashing of resolutions passed against him by Lok Sabha on 12 March and Rajya Sabha on 11 March.
Alternatively, he has sought a direction to Lok Sabha Speaker and Chairman of Upper House that he be heard personally or through his duly designated lawyer(s).
Katju’s post on the social site also said that senior lawyer Gopal Subramaniam would represent him.
“It is a basic principle of natural justice that no one should be condemned unheard. But paying scant regard to this principle, the Hon’ble members of both Houses of the Indian Parliament all flocked together with one voice to condemn me, like the Queen of Hearts in ‘Alice in Wonderland’ who would say ‘Off with his head! ‘ even before she would give a hearing to someone..,” Justice Katju, who has drawn controversy with several of his comments in the past, wrote in his post.
The petition alleged that both Houses of Parliament lacked “competence” to condemn him.
“Because, Parliament (Respondent No.1 and Respondent No.2) lacks the competence and authority to pass the impugned resolutions condemning the act of the petitioner, who is a private person;
“Respondent No.1 and Respondent No.2 are not competent to take cognizance of the expressions of free speech of the private person like the petitioner, as the power under Rule 171 of the Lok Sabha Rules provides that the resolution must relate to act of Government. Thus the Impugned Resolution do not fulfill the jurisdictional requirement, and the necessary jurisdictional facts are lacking,” it said.
The plea also referred to the reasons behind the alleged posts against Gandhi and Bose.
“That, the post in respect of Gandhiji in short made the point that by constantly using religious symbolism in politics for several decades, Gandhiji, in effect furthered the British Policy of Divide and Rule by alienating the Muslim population of the Indian sub-continent away from the national movement. A true typed copy of the post published by the Petitioner on his face book page on 10th March, 2015 in respect of Gandhiji is annexed herewith…
“That, the post 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.
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