Justice Katju condemns girl’s arrest for Facebook post
Markandey Katju, former Supreme Court judge and Press Council chairman wrote 2 emails of protest to the Maharashtra CM Mr. Prithviraj Chavan strongly decrying the arrest of two girls Shaheen Dhada and Renu who criticized on Facebook the state "bandh" after Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray’s death. Mr. Markandey Katju called for an action against those involved their arrest.
Katju wrote to to the Maharashtra CM Mr. Prithviraj Chavan:
A Letter to Maharashtra CM
The Chief Minister
Dear Chief Minister,
I am forwarding an email I have received stating that a woman in Maharashtra has been arrested for protesting on Facebook against the shut down in Mumbai on the occasion of the death of Mr. Bal Thackeray.
It is alleged that she has been arrested for allegedly hurting religious sentiments.
To my mind it is absurd to say that protesting against a bandh hurts religious sentiments.
Under Article 19(1)(a) of our Constitution freedom of speech is a guaranteed fundamental right . We are living in a democracy, not a fascist dictatorship. In fact this arrest itself appears to be a criminal act since under sections 341 and 342 it is a crime to wrongfully arrest or wrongfully confine someone who has committed no crime.
Hence if the facts reported are correct, I request you to immediately order the suspension, arrest, chargesheeting and criminal prosecution of the police personnel (however high they may be) who ordered as well as implemented the arrest of that woman, failing which I will deem it that you as Chief Minister are unable to run the state in a democratic manner as envisaged by the Constitution to which you have taken oath, and then the legal consequences will follow
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