Sunday, October 27, 2013

Tulzapurkar delivered the historical judgment on freedom of expression

v d tulzapurkar

The Yunani philosopher Sukrat has stated four characteristics-(i) Hear patiently, (ii) Reply (answer) wisely, (iii) Think sensitively and (iv) Take decision fairly. Tulzapurkar was replete with these four characteristics. Along with them, he had plenty of truthfulness, courage, and patience. On 26th June 1975, the emergency was proclaimed. Thereafter the fundamental rights of citizens were suspended and news means were censored. In this environment of this terror in the whole country, some truthful,justice-loving and committed Justices of the country gave lawful decisions for the re-establishment of the constitutionally guaranteed rights. Only after these decisions of the Judiciary, the Indira Gandhi Government had to trace the methods like new constitutional amendments and interference in the appointments of the Judiciary. In reining the rough and tuff administration during emergency his some decisions even today are considered very important for the protection of the civil rights. Born on 9th Government law college Bombay(now Mumbai) and enrolled as an advocate in the Bombay High Court on 1s the young Tulzapurkar to be a Judge. Having been a judge for seven years in District Courts of Mumbai Tulzapurkar was appointed the judge of the Bombay High Court in 1963. Those days the Justice Tulzapurkar was posted in the Bombay High Court. On 25th June 1975 Emergency was proclaimed in India. After the legislature being hand tools of the Union executive for the general public only the Judiciary remained the hope for the protection. The Bombay Advocates Committee, an organization of some former Justices and lawyers decided to organize a meeting to take the decision about the fundamental rights of citizens and judicious administration. On 18th October 1975, about five hundred advocates were called for the meeting in the Jeena Hall of Bombay in which former Chief Justice Justice M.C.Chhagla, J.C. Shah and N.P. Nathwani was to address. For the permission of the meeting, an application was moved to the Bombay police commissioner who refused to permit treating its danger to public order and internal security. Against the decision of the police commissioner, the organizers filed a petition in the Bombay High Court. Quashing the decision of the police commissioner Justice Tulzapulkar wrote –“ the plea that there is a prohibition for every dialogue during emergency can't be accepted. In my view, such Government which suppresses the peaceful and constructive criticism provides freedom to only its touts and flatterers, compels its citizens to face the contempt and disregard by a police commissioner for the general, fair and proper activities, has no moral right to propagate that democracy is more in the country.” This case is known as N.P.Nathwani v. Union of India. On the basis of this judgment, the Newspaper “Freedom First” edited by Meenu Mashani had won its case against the censor board officials. Due to non-adherence to the dictate of the Delhi Darbar during the emergency, all the law enforcing institutions of the Central Government cracked over the Indian Express newspaper groups. It was the Court of Tulzapurkar which provided judicial relief to the Indian Express. The Sadhna a Marathi weekly filed a petition against the seizure of the issues and the press by the censorship officials. He in his decision held the action of the censor official improper and refused to accept the news(materials) printed in the Sadhna as harmful reporting. He distinguished the lawful India Republic from the Government ministers and the political officers. To him, criticism against the political officers and also initiation (slogan) of non-violent peaceful protest against them can’t be treated as dangerous to India Nation –states. On 16th January 1977 during the emergency on the occasion of the new court building inauguration ceremony in Nagpur, he criticised harshly the Central Government and the law minister H.R. Gokhale for the interference in the appointments of the Judiciary. He treated such interference very harmful to Judiciary. He also reprimanded bitterly the censor officials for the misuse of their power. In 1977 he was elevated to the Supreme Court of India. He on the publication of thanks massage (Stuti Gan) sent to Indira Gandhi, the re-elected Prime Minister by the Justice P. N. Bhagwati of the Supreme Court on her re-election in 1980 displayed the harsh anguish over such flattering massage by a Judge and treated such trend very serious mishappening. On 1st October 2004 Tulzapurkar died. Today judicial activism is very living and fashionable trend but the judicial activism that the Justice Tulzapurkar showed in the era of that social-political environment is the proof of his indomitable courage and unfathomable commitment to Justice.

The Chief Justice of Bombay High Court M.C.Chhagla requested the young Tuljapurkar to be a judge. He reprimanded bitterly the Bombay police for restraining/preventing the former Chief Justice M.C. Chhagla from protesting against the emergency and said that even during emergency the people’right to protest is not gone.He against the sensorship upon the news means pronounced the historical judgment(decision) concerned with right of freedom of expression on the petition of “Sadhana” a Marathi magazine.

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