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Bhima Koregaon case: Justice DY Chandrachud dissents against majority judgment, says 'voice of Opposition can't be muzzled'

After emerging as the lone dissenting voice in the Aadhaar case, Supreme Court judge Justice DY Chandrachud penned another strongly worded dissenting opinion this week, which also happens to Dipak Misra's last week as the Chief Justice of India.

Even though the Supreme Court in a 2-1 majority rejected the plea of historian Romila Thapar and others seeking immediate release of the five arrested rights activists in connection with the Bhima Koregaon violence, Justice Chandrachud dissented to the CJI and Justice Khanwilkar's view in a fervently worded judgment, saying, “Voices of Opposition cannot be muzzled because it's dissent. Deprivation of liberty cannot be compensated later."

Chandrachud also berated the Maharashtra Police for what he termed as "using electronic media selectively for shaping public opinion". He held that the present petition was not motivated by political aspects, and raised a doubt on the Maharashtra Police's ability to carry out a fair investigation.

Read the full judgment here:

File image of Justice Chandrachud. Screengrab from YouTube

File image of Justice Chandrachud. Screengrab from YouTube

On the issue of maintainability, Chandrachud opined that "technicalities cannot be allowed to override substantive justice".

“If the court does not stand by liberty, dignity, and dissent, it may as well compose a requiem for these rights,” he remarked. Noting that the arrests had infringed the dignity of individuals, he ordered for a SIT probe.

Referring to the press conference held by the Pune Police immediately after an interim order in the case was passed by the Supreme Court, Chandrachud said that it was an attempt to selectively leak information and termed it “disconcerting”.

He also referred to the letter allegedly written by activist Sudha Bhardwaj and noted that since it was flashed on a TV channel, thus, such selective disclosure of probe details could cast a cloud on the fairness of the investigation.

Chandrachud had earlier dissented in a landmark judgment in the verdict for Aadhaar's constitutional legality. Interestingly, with his judgement on the adultery law on Thursday, he overruled the judgment of his father YV Chandrachud, a former CJI, for the second time; the first being in the case of Right to Privacy.


Updated Date: Oct 03, 2018 10:45 AM

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