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India cutting sorry figure with threats to artists, says Bombay High Court

The court directed a meeting to be convened with secretary of state home department, Director General of Police (DGP) and Joint Director of CBI with Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh and Ashok Mundargi, who appears for CID in the matter.

By: PTI | Mumbai | Published: December 7, 2017 3:23 pm
Bombay HC says India cutting sorry figure with threats to artists The court said Dabholkar was killed in 2013 and Pansare in 2015, but till date the investigating agencies (CBI and state CID) have not been able to arrest the main suspects. (File/Photo)

A democratic country like India is cutting a very sorry figure with open threats being given to artists and others and with attacks on people for voicing their opinions, the Bombay High Court said on Thursday. The high court, while referring to the Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s controversy-hit film “Padmavati”, observed that the director has not been able to release his film and an actress is facing death threats. The HC also pulled up the CBI and the state CID, which are investigating the murder cases of rationalists Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare respectively, over the failure to arrest the main suspects in these cases so far.

The strong remarks were made by a division bench of Justices S C Dharmadhikari and Bharti Dangre while hearing the petitions filed by family members of Dabholkar and Pansare seeking court supervision on their murder probe.

“In this country, we have come to a situation where people cannot voice their opinions. Everytime a person says he or she wants to voice their opinion, somebody or a fringe group says they would not allow it. This does not augur well for the state,” Justice Dharmadhikari said.

“In which other country do you see threats given to artists and performers? It is distressing to know that a person makes a feature film and several people work tirelessly towards it, but is not able to release the film because of continued threats. What have we come to?” he said.

“Today, somebody says I will give a reward to anyone who kills an actress. Such open threats! People are taking pride in saying we will give reward to those, who will kill an actress. And even chief ministers are saying they will not allow the release of the movie in their states,” Justice Dharmadhikari said referring to some states banning the release of “Padmavati”.

He added that if such things are happening to people with financial backings, what will happen to poor people.

The court noted that this was censorship of a different kind and it was damaging India’s image.

“What concerns us is India’s image and reputation as a democratic country. We are the largest democracy. We cannot take pride in the happenings of such incidents day in and day out. We are cutting a very sorry figure,” Justice Dharmadhikari said.

Referring to the recent case where a foreign couple was attacked in Uttar Pradesh, he said, “Somebody visits this country as tourists and they are attacked.”

The bench noted that states like Maharashtra and Karnataka are known for their “progressive and modern thinking”.

“Maharashtra and Karnataka are known for social reformers and thinkers and with such incidents these states are cutting a sorry figure politically too,” the court said.

It added that in other countries when any major incident occurs, the suspect is apprehended, dead or alive, within hours.

“However, our country’s agencies have not learnt anything from past incidents like the attack on Parliament and the Prime Minister,” Justice Dharmadhikari said.

The court said Dabholkar was killed in 2013 and Pansare in 2015, but till date the investigating agencies (CBI and state CID) have not been able to arrest the main suspects.

“We cannot allow such serious matters to linger for years. We cannot allow constitutional rights to be taken away. Enough damage has been caused already. Has any senior official from the two agencies bothered to find out why the probe is not getting any headaway?” the court asked.

It said even after these two attacks, there are persons, who are openly and boldly voicing their opinions, are being threatened.

“At the core of these two crimes is the bold attempts being made by fringe groups to attack those who voice their rational views, thoughts, feelings and expressions,” the court said.

“Hence, we feel that it is time to call upon the CBI and the CID to involve their superiors. If the senior officials do not wish to be summoned to court, then they should meet with the counsels appearing in court and take stock of the situation,” Justice Dharmadhikari said.

The court directed a meeting to be convened with secretary of state home department, Director General of Police (DGP) and Joint Director of CBI with Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh and Ashok Mundargi, who appears for CID in the matter.

The bench has now posted the matter for further hearing on December 21.

While the CBI is probing the Dabholkar case, the Pansare murder case is being investigated by a Special Investigation Team of the CID.

Dabholkar was murdered in Pune on August 20, 2013 and Pansare was shot on February 16, 2015 in Kolhapur. He died on February 20 in a hospital.

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  1. IAS IPS
    Dec 7, 2017 at 8:19 pm
    Has anybody observed why libtard type issues like “ award wapasi, lankesh murder, padamavati cases” always go to Bombay high court? Because bombay HC judge Dharmadhikari is a commie stooge commies are assured of a favourable bakar from him...
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    1. Nitin Deolekar
      Dec 7, 2017 at 7:48 pm
      why Bollywood cannot play with Muslim god? Why only Husain can draw nude Devi?? Hindu has to tolerate due to Dirty Ambedkar Laws Like No Common Civil Code here?? ISIS may not stop only with warning to Bollywood Actress Shurpnakha of 21st Century mere to cut Nose, but who knows they can cut what organs?? Time has come to reverse Ambedkar Laws for next 70 years: Dare Do Apply 1-wife Act by Law for Muslim brothers Allow 2-shadi Talak for Hindu. Then Try common civil code after 70 years? Also Apply China family Law for Muslims: 1-family-1-child for next 70 years there-after 2. Gift Job reservation to Muslim women suffered due to Ambedkar bad laws Like Shah bano. Teach them Tennis from Sania Mirza in Schools! Ban school in madrasa? Tax Mandir Mosque! Can Any one poet / great imaginative person like Leela Bhansali can even imagine in day-Dreams a scenario like No place for Mosque in Makka-Madina?? But same is reality for 1-Billion poor Hindus in India..
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        Atul
        Dec 7, 2017 at 8:16 pm
        You are amazingly stupid. Hindu gods are not similar to Christian or Islamic allah. Hindu gods that is devas actually mean fair people which the aryans thought they were. The current form of Hinduism propagated by ill informed ill educated RSS BJP goons will convert Hinduism to Islam or Christianity
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      2. H
        H.Balakrishnan
        Dec 7, 2017 at 6:48 pm
        The High Court should also STRESS the fact that our civilizational ethos is MODERATION. This is what Lord Krishna tells Arjuna in his ' uvacha' on Sthithaprajna or Steady Wisdom in the Bhagavad Gita So our artistes have also to ensure that they subsume their love for the lucre to moderation. The HC will not say that for fear of being b ed " COMMUNAL " !!
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        1. Rahim Abdul
          Dec 7, 2017 at 5:01 pm
          What bold quote by the Judge, we appreciate him, people in government or judiciary should not support a particular religion
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          1. M
            MK
            Dec 7, 2017 at 4:14 pm
            Democracy is different from culture. Whether we admit it or not, threatening and violence are part of the Indian culture while we keep on claiming that we are tolerant shantidoots.
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