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RSS' comment that 'SC has insulted Hindus' might sound indecent but it's neither intimidation nor contempt!
RSS General Secretary Bhaiyyaji Joshi, while addressing a press conference post the three-day national executive body meeting of the RSS at Uttan in Thane district on Friday, said that the 'Supreme Court's decision to defer the hearing of the Ram temple issue was an insult to the Hindu community.'

I do believe that the term 'insult' is inappropriate and could been replaced by a more parliamentary word like 'disappointment'. Sometimes we forget how we should refer to the country's top court despite all the disagreements. In my earlier article titled 'Ordinance is the only option left with the Central government for building Ram temple', I had clearly opined that the SC too should have avoided the word 'priority' particularly in an oral observation.

However, the Congress-led opposition immediately started attacking the RSS claiming that the Sangh Parivar was intimidating the court. But haven't the opposition parties especially the Congress too intimidated the apex court in the past? During the Nehru era land reform bills were deliberately inserted into the 9th schedule in order to prevent judicial scrutiny. During the emergency era, a pro-Indira Gandhi judge was appointed as CJI superseding seniors. These are not merely cases of intimidating the judiciary but rather instances of the judiciary being clearly told by the government of the day that don't mess with us. In the Shah Bano case, the verdict of the Supreme Court in favour of the petitioner Shah Bano, a Muslim woman, and a mother of five, from Indore, was nullified by the Rajiv Gandhi government by enacting a law and denying the basic maintenance right to Muslim women. Wasn't this an insult of the apex court and the Indian judiciary?

Post the verdicts on Jallikatu and the dilution of the SC and ST act, weren't the opposition parties involved in violent protests against the SC? Forget about all that, the Congress-led opposition even went to the extent of moving an impeachment notice against the CJI of India? What was that if not intimidation?

Now coming back to another important aspect of this issue, does criticizing a verdict amount to contempt of court? I don't think so. The judiciary is part of democracy and is meant to serve public interest, so the court's verdicts are open to criticism by the public. For example, you have the legal right to approach a higher court challenging a lower court's verdict, if you think that the verdict delivered is either faulty or wrong. So how can it be considered as contempt of the court? Those saying that the RSS should be booked for contempt of court should first understand what contempt means.

Contempt of court means not observing a verdict or order. You may disagree or criticise the verdict but you have to follow that order as the Constitution mandates, as unless that verdicts is challenged or stayed by a higher court, it is the law of the land.

We have criticised the judges for their unprecedented press conferences, we have disagreed with many verdicts and vociferously protested against them. But that can't be considered as contempt because democracy as well as the Constitution provides the right to dissent to every Indian citizen as a fundamental right and no dissent can be expressed without disagreeing or criticising.

But the bottom line is, dissent can't be expressed indecently or violently. That's why RSS' choice of the word 'insult' is in violation to the democratic spirit although it can't be considered as either contempt or intimidation.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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