What is that decision of CJI DY Chandrachud? Know what he gave on Nathuram Godse’s play 21 years ago – न्यूज़लीड India

What is that decision of CJI DY Chandrachud? Know what he gave on Nathuram Godse’s play 21 years ago


‘Priority to work for common citizens’

Justice DY Chandrachud has taken over as the 50th Chief Justice of the country. After taking the oath, he has told the media that his priority is to work for the common citizens. He has also promised reforms in the judicial process. He told a TV channel, ‘Not my words, my work will speak.’ He will remain in this post till November 10, 2024, during which time he will get enough time to bring changes and reforms in the judicial system of the country. Justice Chandrachud became a judge of the Supreme Court on May 13, 2016; And since he came to the country’s highest court, he has played a key role in several landmark decisions including the Ayodhya Ram Janmabhoomi dispute and the right to privacy. He was also part of the bench which declared Section 377 of the IPC free of offense and legalized homosexual relationships. With this, he was also involved in a historic decision given on freedom of expression almost 21 years ago. Then he used to be a judge in the Bombay High Court.

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The play 'Mee Nathuram Godse Boltoy' was banned

The play ‘Mee Nathuram Godse Boltoy’ was banned

In fact, in 1998, the Maharashtra government issued a notification banning the public performance of the Marathi play ‘Mee Nathuram Godse Boltoy’. The ban was imposed on play scripts, stage performances, sale of audio-video cassettes and even seminars. The Maharashtra government at that time argued that the play would glorify the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi. This play was in a lot of controversies in the 90s.

The ban was lifted by a bench headed by Justice Chandrachud.

The ban was lifted by a bench headed by Justice Chandrachud.

According to a report in The Times of India, the case against the Maharashtra government’s move reached the Bombay High Court, which lifted the ban on the play ‘Mee Nathuram Godse Boltoy’ on October 9, 2001, while upholding freedom of expression. The court set aside the government notification which was issued on December 3, 1998. The Full Bench of the Bombay High Court considered the Maharashtra government’s move to be illegal, invalid, out of authority and dismissed the decision. This full bench of the Bombay High Court also had the then Chief Justice BP Singh, Justice S Radhakrishnan and Justice DY Chandrachud, who has now become the Chief Justice of the country.

Maharashtra government's arguments rejected

Maharashtra government’s arguments rejected

In order to ban the play ‘Mee Nathuram Godse Boltoy’, the then Maharashtra government had cited section 95(1) of the CrPC. The public prosecutor urged the High Court to issue a stay of 8 weeks on his order so that he can file an appeal against it in the Supreme Court. But, the court rejected his demand, saying that the power used by the government was harsh. The court said that under Section 95, the government has no right to use it in the name of ‘law and order’ merely on the ground that there is an apprehension of opposition from a section of the society against a play.

Also read- CJI salary: How much salary will Chief Justice DY Chandrachud get, what will be the other facilities and allowances?Also read- CJI salary: How much salary will Chief Justice DY Chandrachud get, what will be the other facilities and allowances?

'Freedom of expression upheld...'

‘Freedom of expression upheld…’

The government notification had said that the play “contains derogatory references against Mahatma Gandhi and certain communities, which may lead to breach of public peace and promote disharmony”. The court said the government has failed to specify which part of the play would lead to unrest. To this the government replied that it had received complaints from several political parties against the staging of the play. But, when the court rejected the government’s arguments, Pradeep Dalvi, the author of the play, left the court happily and said, ‘The court has upheld my freedom of expression…’

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