New Delhi: In a big setback to former apex court judge, the Supreme Court on Thursday quashed a plea moved by him for quashing Parliament resolutions which condemned him for writing an offensive blog on Mahatma Gandhi and Subhash Chandra Bose.
“We have dismissed the petition on merits,” Justice UU Lalit said while reading out the verdict by a three-member apex court bench that included Chief Justice TS Thakur and Justice R Banumathi.
The bench also rejected the Centre’s contention that Justice Katju’s petition was not maintainable.
The government had pleaded that the resolutions did not amount to censuring the former SC Judge.
The Parliament resolutions had merely denounced his remark calling Gandhi and Bose agents of Britain and Japan, respectively, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi had pleaded.
The bench passed the order while responding to a PIL filed by Justice Katju pleading for quashing the resolutions passed by the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha on March 11 and 12, 2015, respectively.
He contended that the resolutions would have a “chilling effect on free speech and muzzle and discourage critical thinking,” besides hindering an independent academic engagement with India’s history and its key personalities.
The bench, however, remarked that the Parliament resolutions represented the collective view of MPs who had as much freedom as Justice Katju had to express their anguish over the statement against the two national leaders.
The former Press Council of India chairman had sometimes back written a blog in which he termed Mahatma Gandhi and Subhas Chandra Bose as British and Japanese agents respectively.