Justice KM Joseph Must Clarify His Stand: Indian Human Rights Council On Oral Remarks During Hearing Of Hate Speech Case
The Indian Human Rights Council (IHRC) has called for clarification by Justice KM Joseph about his controversial oral observations during the hearing of a case relating to hate speech on March 29.
"A Judge of the Supreme Court has taken an oath to uphold the Constitution and the laws and to perform his duties without ill will against anyone. Hence it is necessary for Justice KM Joseph to clarify what transpired in his Court on March 29 and to restore the faith of the public in general, and the communities who are aggrieved by his words and action in particular, in the Judiciary", says a press release by the Maharashtra based human rights organisation.
A controversy erupted after Justice KM Joseph reportedly said that action will have an opposite reaction when "Sar Tan Se Juda" slogans raised in different parts of the Country and a video of hate slogans raised in a PFI rally in Kerala were pointed out before the Bench also comprising Justice BV Nagarathna while hearing a case relating to hate speech targeting the minority communities.
It was also reported that when the Solicitor General pointed out the instances of alleged hate speech against Brahmins by DMK leader, Justice KM Joseph smiled and the SG retorted by saying that it is not a matter to be laughed at.
In its press release, the NGO says that if the media reports are true, the Judges have sent a very dangerous message to the society and that the statements and actions of the Judges may result in serious violation of human rights of Hindus, if not immediately rectified.
The press release says that one cannot determine if a speech is hate speech or not by looking at whom it is aimed. "The identity of the victim or the perpetrator is absolutely irrelevant for determining whether a speech is hate speech. To say that a hate speech calling for beheading or for preparation for last rites by a particular community can be justified if it comes as a reaction, is against the rule of law", it says.
"Indication from a constitutional functionary at the highest level that calling for violence in some circumstances is justified, amounts to direct incitement of violence and lawlessness", IHRC says in a release signed by its Directors.
The NGO terms the insinuation that Periyar was a great man, shocking. "The hateful views of Periyar towards a particular caste and his scant respect for the Constitution of India are well known. If the media reports about his apparent endorsement of Periyar are true, the Judge concerned must clarify his stand on Periyar’s hateful ideology", the release says.
During the hearing, Justice Joseph had asked the SG if he know who Periyar was.
The NGO also says that Justice Joseph "seems to endorse the growing trend of demonizing a community among Hindus", while calling for clarification from him.
"Supreme Court" and "Hate Speech" were trending on Twitter last week after the cBrahminsourtroom exchanges in the Court of Justice KM Joseph and Justice BV Nagarathna were widely discussed on social media. (read report)