Dr.G. Shreekumar Menon IRS (Rtd), Ph.D.

Former Director General

National Academy of Customs, Indirect Taxes & Narcotics.

If George Bernard Shaw were alive today, he would be extremely happy seeing that the present chaos in the country, closely resembles what he once warned “Never forget that if you leave your law to judges and your religion to bishops, you will presently find yourself without either law or religion”. 

Recently, an acrimonious debate on a certain TV channel, has erupted into a major controversy, sharply dividing civil society and severe criticism about the conduct of two judges of the highest Court. Everybody crossed the Lakshman-Rekha, by getting themselves embroiled in an unnecessary controversy, over an emotional outburst of a woman panelist, in response to an insensitive ridicule about a particular religion by another panelist. Matters erupted into a major crisis, even having international ramifications. The immediate reaction of a few political parties was to file a Police complaint invoking various legal provisions only on the woman panelist. The male panelist who provoked the entire acrimony was conveniently not booked for any violation. Very soon, multiple FIR’s were filed across the country only against the woman panelist. The lady approached the Apex Court seeking consolidation of all the FIR’s at a single place, which is legally permissible. Unfortunately, the learned Judges expressed certain remarks, which added more fuel to the already inflamed opinions raging across the country. Adding more complexity to the issue was the horrific and dastardly killing of two innocent people by misguided fanatics. The heated exchanges going on in the social media and strident demands for reforming the selection of judges and repeal of provisions relating to Contempt of Court, has aggravated the entire issue and created a national crisis.

If we dispassionately analyze the present crisis, what becomes questionable first is whether there is any necessity for these kind of TV debates? No relevant topics like energy crisis, food crisis, global inflation, pandemics, drug- abuse, women emancipation and technological developments are ever discussed. Instead every channel debates only about petty politics, religion, language, and reservation policies. Such debates are endless, and for which there is a select list of panelists, drawn from a pack of fundamentalists, fanatics and obscurantists. The TV anchor whips up a hysteria by posing inflammatory questions and thereafter the proceedings are anything but a healthy debate. Panelists are yelling, screaming and shouting at one another and sometimes even expletives are hurled at each other. The current crisis erupted because a male panelist belonging to a so-called minority religious community ridiculed the  Gods and Goddesses of the so-called majority community. This incited the female panelist to question about the conduct of the religious leader of the male panelist. All hell broke loose thereafter. The next day saw the filing of FIR’s only against the female panelist. Soon multiple FIR’s began to be filed in different parts of the country only against the female panelist.

The above scenario raises several important legal questions. Can an FIR be filed only against a single person, when there were several other panelists in the debate? Can the TV anchor be absolved of all liability at the FIR stage itself? Is the Police SHO legally empowered to dissect the case and use his subjective satisfaction at the FIR stage itself and absolve all other panelists of any culpability? If multiple FIR’s get filed in different parts of the country, is there no legal mechanism in place to bunch all the FIR’s and assign the competent court and station to proceed in the matter?

The next and last stage is when the affected person approaches the Court for a ruling to bunch the various FIR’s and assign the case to a competent SHO for investigation and framing of charges, if any. Judges are expected to deliberate only on the reliefs prayed for. 

Unfortunately, certain oral remarks and observations of the Learned Judges, grabbed the attention of the entire nation, and very soon social media was inundated with criticism and ridicule, about the handling of the case by the Hon’ble Judges.

In every profession there is need to observe diplomacy and restraint. Bureaucrats are restrained and cautious and generally do not talk about sensitive issues. Many politicians prefer to be studiously silent on delicate issues, while some others wax eloquent and instigate problems.

Much of the present day problems plaguing the country can be traced to inadequacies and shortcomings in the Constitution, which is exploited for conducting unabated religious conversions, foreign funding of agitations and militancy, human-trafficking, drug-trafficking and arms-trafficking. If the loopholes in the Constitution is plugged much of the problems confronting the country can be obviated. 

ಉಪಯುಕ್ತ ನ್ಯೂಸ್‌’ ಫೇಸ್‌ಬುಕ್ ಪುಟ ಲೈಕ್ ಮಾಡಿ

ಉಪಯುಕ್ತ ನ್ಯೂಸ್‌ ವಾಟ್ಸಪ್‌ ಗ್ರೂಪಿಗೆ ಸೇರಲು ಈ ಲಿಂಕ್ ಕ್ಲಿಕ್ ಮಾಡಿ


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