Markandey Katju committed no offence by dubbing as “nonsense” the Hindu belief that cow is mother, said a Delhi court while rejecting a plea to register a First Information Report (FIR) against the former Supreme Court judge, reported the PTI. The Supreme Court meanwhile told Katju that the parliament was free to condemn his views, reported IANS.

Metropolitan Magistrate Deepika Singh rejected the complaint that was made against Katju under Section 295A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings), Section 298 (uttering words with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of any person) and 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race) of the Indian Penal Code 1860 (IPC).

The complainant claimed that Katju had deliberately uttered these words to hurt religious feelings of the entire Hindu community including the complainant, but Singh observed that Katju’s expression fell within his constitutional freedom of speech and expression.

Meanwhile, Katju had, through senior advocate Gopal Subramanium, filed a plea in the Supreme Court arguing that the parliament had damaged his reputation by condemning him for his statement that Indian freedom fighter Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose was a "japanese agent" and Mahatma Gandhi was a "British agent".

The SC bench was headed by justice TS Thakur, and it agreed to hear the matter, appointing senior advocate Fali S Nariman as amicus curiae, but told him that the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha's passage of unanimous resolutions condemning Katju's statements did not violate Katju's freedom of speech and expression.

The Supreme Court’s secretary general VSR Avadhani has issued a press release that its former deputy registrar (research), Anup Surendranath, had resigned “on his own request as he wanted to pursue his interest in research projects in which he is involved in”.

“What was played out this week at the Supreme Court was the proverbial final nail,” said Surendranath.

"Owing to misbehaviour and insult meted out to advocates for a pretty long time, we took a resolution to abstain and refrain from attending the court of Justice Girish Gupta,” Calcutta high court Bar Association outgoing secretary Rana Mukherjee told PTI about the reason for lawyers have boycotted Gupta’s court for six days running yesterday.

Gupta turned up to court but “retired to his chamber later in the day” after lawyers did not turn up. The bar has demanded an apology.

Bar Council of India (BCI) chairman Manan Kumar Mishra, who is also the Bihar State Bar Council’s (BSBC) representative at BCI, apologised to the Patna high court for the “mistakes” of the BSBC as the court admonished the BSBC for calling a state-wide lawyer strike on July 15, reported the Times of India.

Chief justice L Narasimha Reddy and justice Anjana Mishra observed that the BSBC had “tarnished the image of the legal profession”, through its call to strike against corruption in the lower judiciary, even though the cause of its strike was “laudable”. The observation came as the bench was hearing an unrelated case.

Mishra appeared before the bench to apologise.

Does a time of peace and prosperity lie ahead for the bar?Things promised to return to normal in the Delhi high court on Monday after high-stakes drama last week, when the members of DHCBA received message through the newly formed SMS handle DHCBAS declaring that the strike was suspended.

BCI: Keeping it realKian Ganz looks into the BCI’s latest claim that 30 per cent of lawyers are not really lawyers and asks, how the BCI knows.

Latest comments