The Wire interview with Justice Madan Lokur should be an eye opener for the Executive and the apex court
It’s been around two weeks since the so-called Dharma Sansad convened by anti-national elements in Haridwar called for a Muslim genocide. What is more worrying is the fact that the apex court has yet to respond. Call for genocide is not a simple crime, and taking suo motu cognisance was what the Supreme Court of India should have done.
In an interview with The Wire’s Karan Thapar, former judge of the Supreme Court Justice Madan Lokur has categorically stated that the apex court should have acted immediately, considering what happened in Haridwar was a crime against humanity.
Though already too late, the Supreme Court should, at least now, initiate action by giving the government not more than 24 hours to investigate and act so that the people who made the call for genocide are arrested and not allowed to roam freely, Justice Lokur asserted.
As the people who called for genocide against the Muslims are known ones, the action coming too late is indeed beyond logic. A group of people calling to wipe out Muslims from the country amounts to a serious crime against humanity and is an offence that should have triggered action immediately. The Supreme Court, even after around two weeks of the incident, is reluctant to take cognisance of the happenings at Haridwar. This, even after 76 lawyers, including a former Law Minister, wrote to the Chief Justice seeking intervention adds to the gravity of the situation.
Inaction from PM, Govt and Supreme Court appalling
Further, the silence from the part of the Prime Minister and the Union Government is appalling. When the Executive decides to stay idle and not act against such a call for genocide, it is imperative that the apex court should intervene, considering that the crime is of an extremely serious nature. Moreover, India is a signatory to the Genocide Act, and Article 3 of the Act clearly states that inciting genocide is the same as genocide. And so, looking at the Haridwar genocide call, it needs to be seen that the crime has already been committed when the call was made. That is more than enough ground for action from the government, and more importantly, the Supreme Court.
As DigPu News had written on the day of the genocide call that sent shock waves, hatred against Muslims by the dominant Hindu community is not new. Luckily for India, whenever such instances came to light, we had visionary leaders who never gave in to such narrow mindedness. India holds aloft a Constitution that pledges ideals of secularism and peaceful co-existence. Things, however, have changed for the worse. A Prime Minister and his Cabinet colleagues watching a serious crime unfold in front their eyes and yet doing nothing about it, is what modern-day India has to suffer. Further, the top court of the country, which is expected to step in whenever the citizens face a helpless situation, also toeing the same idle path is worrisome, to say the least.
Karan Thapar’s interview with Justice Lokur needs to be an eye opener for the Prime Minister, the government machinery, and also the Supreme Court that has been biding time when it should have taken suo motu cognisance to such an inhuman drama that unfolded in Haridwar’s Dharma Sansad. The ‘Shastrameva Jayate’ theme that played on at the conclave needs to be seen as a threat to India as a whole. Thapar’s intervention in the Indian political and social horizons of the country whenever there is a threat to the nations very existence is known to us. As a media professional with his mind in the right place, Karan Thapar has been at the forefront of pointing out to the people as to what is right and what is wrong. Thapar’s interview with Justice Lokur brought to the fore everything that called for the executive’s and judiciary’s full attention. Justice Lokur is not just another legal luminary who has done his bit and retired after his term ended. His illustrious career has given India a handful of gems that the country would always be proud of. For instance, as the Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh High Court, Justice Lokur had suspended Special CBI Judge T Pattabhirama Rao and ordered his prosecution in a mining scam case that was connected with the Reddy brothers. He is someone who fears only the law and had worked towards ensuring justice.
Crime against humanity calls for punishment
When Justice Lokur talks about the concerns relating to the Supreme Court’s reluctance to take cognisance of an offence against humanity, it means that even the top judicial office could be treading an errant path. Though late, it is time for the apex court to act.
An erring community calling for genocide against fellow citizens in a country that exists on the fundamentals of secularism needs to be investigated and punished for committing a heinous crime. As Justice Lokur states with reference to the Article 3 of the Genocide Act, inciting genocide is the same as genocide. And so, the guilty needs to be penalised. Let’s hope justice will prevail.