The Bombay High Court has dismissed a petition in search of motion in opposition to former Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and BJP MP Sudhanshu Trivedi for his or her statements on Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and different icons, saying their remarks prima facie don’t represent an offence underneath any felony legislation.
The excessive courtroom additionally mentioned that the statements mirror the notion and opinion of the speaker about these figures with an intention to influence the viewers, and the intention seems to be to enlighten society for its betterment.
The High Court’s order was made accessible lately.
Mr Koshyari, whose tenure was dogged by controversies attributable to his utterances about Shivaji Maharaj, social reformers Mahatma Phule and his spouse Savitribai and Marathi individuals, stepped down from the submit of the governor final month.
He had confronted flak for calling Shivaji Maharaj an “icon of olden times”, whereas Trivedi had allegedly mentioned that the founding father of the Maratha empire had apologised to Mughal emperor Aurangzeb.
Justices Sunil Shukre and Abhay Waghwase, on March 20 dismissed a petition filed by Panvel resident Rama Katarnaware, who belongs to the Scheduled Caste (SC) group.
The petitioner claimed that the statements made by Koshyari and Trivedi who’re non-SC or Scheduled Tribes (ST) members, at public speeches are disrespectful to those late political figures who had been held in excessive esteem by members of society basically and members of the SC/ST communities particularly.
The petitioner referred to a number of objectionable statements made by Koshyari and Trivedi on Shivaji Maharaj, Mahatma Phule and Savitribai Phule and ‘Marathi manoos’.
However, the bench in its order, mentioned, “An in-depth consideration of the referred statements would tell us that they are in the nature of the analysis of history and the lessons to be learnt from history.
“They additionally present the intention of the speaker, which is that at the very least within the current occasions, we should always study from historical past and in addition realise the implications of following sure traditions and what could occur maybe for the worst, if these traditions are adopted,” the bench said.
It further said that these statements primarily reflect the perception and opinion of the speaker about those figures with an intention to persuade the audience, to whom they have been expressed, to think over and act in a way which is good for society. The intention behind the statements appears to be the enlightenment of society for its betterment, as perceived by the speaker, the bench said.
“These statements, subsequently, can’t be seen, by any stretch of the creativeness, to be disrespectful to any nice particular person, held in excessive esteem by the members of the society basically and by the members of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes particularly,” the judges said.
In view of the above, the statements, which were made, do not prima-facie constitute any offence punishable under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act or any other criminal law, they said.
The counsel for the petitioner submitted that the respondents are “extremely highly effective and influential authorities” and it is only a constitutional court like this that can issue appropriate directions for the registration of the offences and monitor the progress of the investigation.
“In as far as the powers of this courtroom are involved, there might be no second opinion. This courtroom within the train of its extraordinary energy underneath Article 226 of the Constitution of India, can definitely problem instructions for upholding the reason for justice. But, the query is as as to if or not such an influence might be invoked by the petitioner right here, and this query we reply as within the adverse,” the bench mentioned.
The motive being that, we don’t see a prima-facie structure of any of the alleged offences primarily based on the alleged objectionable statements, it added.