Former Supreme Court judge Rohinton Fali Nariman courted controversy when he urged the apex court to do away with the stringent provisions of the sedition law and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. He made this controversial remark during an event organized by Vishwanath Pasayat Memorial Committee.
Encouraging judicial activism, the retired judge insisted, “I would urge the Supreme Court not to send back the sedition law cases pending before it to the Centre. Governments will come and go (but) it is important for the court to exercise its power and do away with the offensive parts of Section 124A and UAPA. Then the citizens here will breathe more freely. ,
Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman also alleged that India’s rank on the Global Law Index was poor due to colonial-era laws.
“The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to two journalists from the Philippines. India’s rank there was 142…why? It has more to do with India’s bank of colonial laws,” he had said. The retired judge also urged the Supreme Court to unilaterally repeal the sedition law (IPC 124). He asked, “…how is Section 124A left in this big democracy?”
Moreover, former Judge Nariman also termed UAPA as a ‘draconian Act’ that needed to be repealed. He said, “We had China and Pakistan wars. After that, we introduced the harsh law – UAPA. Dissent continues in the law book and UAPA is a harsh act as there is no anticipatory bail and it has at least 5 years imprisonment. This act is not under investigation as of now. It should also be seen along with the sedition law.”
World Hindu Foundation asks Justice Rohinton Nariman to withdraw his remarks on Vedas
In April this year, Justice Rohinton Nariman had made ‘objectionable’ remarks on religion and the stature of women in the Rigveda during the 26th Justice Sunanda Bhandare Memorial Lecture. He had claimed, “The Rigveda says not to have permanent friendship with women as she will be like a hyena.” The remark was strongly criticized, which was interpreted by many as an insult to Hindu sentiments.
Swami Vigyanand, the founder of the World Hindu Foundation, commented, “I believe that you are not qualified to interpret the Vedas and ancient Hindu scriptures. Therefore, you should base your reading of secondary sources on Hindu scriptures and the Vedas. One should resist making any remarks. Also, you hold a responsible position in the judiciary. You should behave responsibly in speaking about issues related to the great religion and civilizational heritage of India,” he said.
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