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filing PIL public interest litigation indian Supreme Court of India

The Honourable Chief Justice of India and his Brother Judges,
( The Most Honourable Supreme Court of India, Original Jurisdiction )

Your most exalted and honorable Lordships,

Most humble petition u/s 39(i) of the CrPC 1973, pertaining to IPC sections 121 (waging war) and 124A (sedition), and also 505(1)(b)  etc.

Most respectfully showeth,

1. The Petitioner is an ordinary citizen of India, and is not legally qualified or trained in the Law or its pleadings, and prays for the Hon'ble Court’s pardon for any deficiencies in this petition present, which has not been drafted or vetted under legal counsel for reason stated after, and prays that an opportunity may be given to Petitioner to suitably amend these deficiencies if any, and that such initial deficiencies may not be held against him in the interest of natural justice. It is relevant to state here that a public matter inherent to this petition is :- whether an ordinary citizen of India - Mr. X, deficient in knowledge of the rules of procedure etc. of your most Hon’ble Court,  is able to directly and humbly approach the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India and the other Higher subordinate courts at the present time or be disadvantaged, procedurally or otherwise, therein ? It is relevant to humbly submit at the outset that there may be procedural  defects in this plaint, but it is well established that procedure is a mere handmaiden to Justice and should not stand in Her way.

2. As a law abiding, though presently private for reasons stated after, person and citizen of India, the Petitioner is apparently legally bound to inform the nearest magistrate u/s 39 of the CrPC of any possible offence being committed under sections 121 to 126 of the IPC.  At the present time the Petitioner is unable to discharge his civic obligation in the form prescribed as above for reasons stated after,  and in the alternative is constrained to forward this communication for your intimation under the vast powers of your  most Hon'ble Court, and in the public interest as detailed after. It is also relevant to state here that as the body of  this petition includes matters of contempt directly relating to your most  Hon’ble Court and, also as a measure of abundant caution, the Petitioner is unsure of the judicial proprieties involved of approaching any subordinate court with such matter. It is relevant to state here that this petition is submitted with some caution and much reluctance considering the serious nature of the charges contained, which even in the Petitioner’s view deals with some grey areas of the law considering that the IPC sections involved are relics of an imperial age and where much of the earlier interpretation of these statutes may not be in harmony with a free and democratic India, and in this context the Petitioner will after tend to reconcile his own, albeit lay,  factual interpretations of the sections involved for which the most Hon’ble Court’s indulgence is prayed for. It is most relevant to state here that, it is under no circumstance the intention of the Petitioner to impugn the reputation of anyone named, or levy false charges against any person or persons, or cause intentional injury to anyone etc., but the fact of law under section 39 of the CrPC also binds the Petitioner to report and give information of reasonable possibilities or occurences of listed offences which any reasonable, prudent and cautious person considering the circumstances would consider to be covered under those sections, and it is only due to this binding  and with no other motive or intent that the Petitioner prays the Hon’ble Court to pray first determine at its pleasure whether any, judicial or police etc., proceeding to redress a wrong,  is at all necessary to be instituted based on the bare statement of facts comprising this petition, and that the Petitioner makes no prayer for prosecution of the accused, and that the Petitioner  may be discharged from his binding aforesaid.

3. On the 7th of March 2002, between about 4.10 p.m and 5.15p.m Indian Standard Time, in the evening, I the Petitioner, was at my residence in Chennai, falling under the Amma Nagar Police Station, watching the news on television on the a) “Star News” and b)“Zee News”  networks, when both these news channels carried a live feed from the Gandhi Peace Auditorium, New Delhi, whence Ms.Arundhati Roy author and convicted contempnor of your hon’ble court, Mr.N.Ram journalist and editor of Frontline magazine, and Ms.Medha Patkar activist, amongst others were holding a press conference in the course of which the present cause of action arose. Also visibly present at the venue was an advocate Mr. Prashant (?) Bhushan who may have been  legal counsel for Ms.Roy or associated with her in some way, in a contempt of court proceeding in your jurisdiction. It is relevant to state here that at least 50 persons appeared to be present at the venue, and the fact that this event was held, was widely reported and published the next day in the press etc., and as Ms.Roy has herself pled earlier by way of affidavit to your Hon’ble Court the contents of this and such proceedings can be easily verified from the numerous film and video teams present.

4. At about 4.15 p.m. Ms. Arundhati Roy commenced her spoken, and possibly seditious, attack on the Government of India by means of spoken and written words. The Petitioner not being sufficiently legally knowledgeable merely communicates that in the mind of the Petitioner at that specific time and thereabouts, that the character and circumstances of Ms.Roy's speech, gestures and overall body language was intended to create or spread disaffection or contempt in the minds of the viewing Indian and foreign public against an arm of the Government of India, viz. the Union Judiciary comprising the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, and of this most singular fact there can be no doubt. It is relevant to submit here that the Petitioner considers it to be a fact that the term “the Government established by Law in India” contained in section 124A IPC must include the present Union Judiciary of India, since the IPC being Act XLV of 1860 is an artefact of the British Raj designed to ensure dominion of that empire, personified by the ruling King or Queen or their representative,  over this country, hence the “Government established by law in India” being somewhat archaic and referring possibly to the various obsolete Government of India Acts, must now indubitably refer to the Constitution of India and include all arms of the Constitution or forms of Constititional Union authority, viz. Union Executive, Union Judiciary, and Parliament etc. required to induce people to obey the law and to uphold lawful authority. It is submitted that the term “Government”  by including the Central and State Governments cannot exclude the other  Constitutional authorities, and  must under no circumstances be construed as being limited to the executive or administrative branches alone. That this sedition was premeditated is sufficiently clear from the fact that the text of Ms.Roy's speech was self-admittedly circulated by her prior to her speech to those present at the venue. It is relevant to state here that Ms. Roy’s speech very probably contained matter that had been earlier held to be contemptuous by your hon’ble court. It is relevant to state here that the Petitioner had at the time of the conference no prior knowledge in any great depth of the contents of Ms. Roy’s or Mr. Ram’s or Ms. Patkar’s ongoing  judicial litigations or crusades etc. and the various judgements etc. as their particular matters were of no great concern to the Petitioner and he does not follow the shenanigans of these 2 ladies in the press. It is relevant to state here that at the time of viewing the press conference over the television, there was little doubt in the Petitioner’s mind that these 2 ladies were intent on inducing people to disrespect the Judiciary and thereby to cease to uphold lawful authority and was malafide, and by the mere fact that such attempt was made, it is immaterial whether they were successful in their design or not, since the fact of consequent public disorder or uprising or violence is not a specified ingredient or sine qua non for this section.

5. In the course of her speech Ms.Roy made several highly disparaging statements concerning the Judiciary including the state of the Judiciary, and read out inflammatory portions from her earlier affidavit to your Hon'ble Court on which basis possibly she had been convicted for contempt. It is relevant to state here that at about 4.25 p.m. the Zee News network, possibly recognizing the seditious nature or content of this matter, terminated the signal feed. The other foreign controlled network ie, Star News, continued to broadcast this feed, interspersed with barely concealed satisfaction from their news anchors who were simplifying or translating Ms.Roy's sedition for the edification of the viewing public.

6. That The Petitioner after a bare reading of the litigation - Section 124A of the IPC alongwith the explanations thereunto, comprehends "sedition" to essentially be the act or attempt of creating disaffection or hatred or contempt etc. against the lawful Government of India by words or gestures etc. as specified in the section. It is not distinguished whether this disaffection or contempt etc. is limited to Indian citizens and must also include an attempt to create contempt for the Government of India among a foreign audience. It is relevant to submit here that the term “disaffection” is not limited to feelings of enimity and disloyalty only. From the explanations it flows that a legitimate attempt to inform or agitate against a specific action or administrative measure of the Government of India cannot constitute sedition, and nay must be encouraged in our democracy, and the Petitioner in fact can deem Mr.N.Ram’s address also in the context of a responsible journalist canvassing opinion to overturn a certain legislation viz. the Contempts of Court Act, since at the time he did not appear to impute dishonest or immoral motives to the Judiciary. In the mind of the Petitioner who was watching the broadcast of the press conference on Star News, Ms.Arundhati Roy's and Ms.Medha Patkar’s words therein being a direct unsubstantiated broadcast, nay a shotgun broadside or perhaps vented displeasure of a frustrated loser or maybe even a person with special knowledge, of the alleged corruption of the judiciary, the alleged bias of the Judiciary, the alleged unconstitutional activities of the Judiciary and the general inefficiency and sleazy environment that allegedly permeates the Indian Judiciary etc., does not fall under the explanatory exclusions to section 124A IPC.  The Petitioner was particularly vexed that after having being once convicted for contempt and undergone the very lenient sentence awarded, that Ms. Arundhati Roy, seemed unrepentant and defiant in immediately thereafter further broadcasting her proven contempt for the Judiciary by publicly repeating the contentions stated in her affidavit etc. It is most humbly submitted that if true, that this class of defiance undermines the dignity and majesty of the Judiciary insofar as offenders can now cock a snook at authority with impunity and expect to get away with a token tap on the wrist. It is also relevant to submit  here that the matter is now beyond the pale of issues of freedom of speech and freedom of the press, which in fact is guaranteed to all under Article 19 of the Constitution subject to limitations, Ms. Roy cannot expect any different application of the law on account of being a member of the fourth estate, a female, or a media persona except as specifically provided for by law. It is submitted that if a disapprobation of a measure of Government is motivated through by a desire to excite hatred or contempt or disaffection towards it, it is immaterial to consider whether any reform of Constitution or Law is advocated, and the burden of proof to explain the intention of their words must fall on these 2 ladies given the nature of the place, time and date, persons present and other circumstances which speak forcefully against the accused.

7. Ms. Roy's speech was followed up by Mr.N.Ram's attempts to cloak Ms. Roy's sedition under the legal fiction of moving the legislature to incorporate Ms. Roy's Roark-ian philosophies, interspersed with tangential references to freedom of the press etc. and was a mere afterthought to cover up for Ms. Roy's sedition. Mr.Ram can at worst be described to be a co-conspirator or mentor of Ms.Roy. Mr.Ram did not make any seditious or war-like statements or actions and the Petitioner holds Mr.Ram in sufficiently high esteem to imagine that Mr.Ram would not knowingly participate in any illegal acts against the Government of India. It is relevant to state here that the Petitioner has observed Mr.Ram and Ms.Roy taking long walks alone together in the Lodhi Gardens, New Delhi, in deep discussions, much prior to their telecast. It is relevant to state here that whereas Ms. Roy may enjoy a certain degree of sympathy from the press, the same brethern of the fourth estate present have meekly published extremely sanitized  reportage of this event in their columns; in particular the coverage of  “The Times of India” and the “Hindustan Times” at New Delhi on the 8th of March 2002, is bowdlerised to the point of absurdity and  portrays Ms. Roy as a latter day Saint Joan d’Arc self-righteously tilting at Judicial windmills accompanied by her Sancha Patkar. It is an opinion submitted in response to certain observations publicly made during that event, that if at all there exists a need to search for a closed club of  self serving members one needst look no further than a  lick spittle fourth estate controlled by acsquiescent media barons, rather than at the judiciary which even Ms. Patkar had reluctantly conceded on that occassion is the most powerful force in India. A more charitable view of these bowdlerisations is that the legal departments of these papers given time and the written text of the speeches, recognised these seditions for what they were and preferred discretion over valour, a luxury that the TV news channels do not enjoy. It is a fact that with television news no longer being the monopoly of the Government, news, views and visuals get disseminated at the speed of light with no time or regard for regulation or circumspection or accuracy and persons can exploit this lacuna with ease, and that in fact it has now become a trend for unsuccessful litigants before your Hon’ble Court to immediately thereafter address the media and “most respectfully” criticise your judgements and speak of taking the matter to the “people’s court” and enacting suitable legislation, which of course is their privilege !

8. Mr.N.Ram was followed by Ms. Medha Patkar, who launched into a bellicose attack on the Government of India inciting lakhs of people against the implied corrupt judiciary whose ex-Chief Justices have allegedly illegally benefitted from land scams etc . A detailed examination of the broadcast tapes as also the unbroadcast tapes will no doubt fully reveal the considerable extent of Ms. Patkar’s anti-national activity if any, sufficeth it to say here that Ms. Patkar has organised and represents an insurrection, well financed by vested interests, encompassing thousands of persons who are too poor or inarticulate or terrified to directly approach the superior  Judiciary for timely reliefs in their object of general public nature against the State, consequently if the insurrection of general purpose strikes directly against the Government’s authority then it assumes the character of treason, irrespective of the number of persons involved or whether they were armed or not. It is submitted that the role of outside persons such as Ms. Patkar and Ms. Roy in say the so-called Narmada Bachao Andolan, may be that of a “agent provacateur” sponsored by foreign powers as described after, and it would be just and proper in the public interest to individually hear legal pleadings of any or everyone affected or likely to be affected by judicial pronouncements after suitably modifying or dispensing with rigorous attention to procedures, especially keeping in mind that India being a country of vast distances,  expensive travel and numerous poor persons  or “Tom Dick and Harry”`s entitled to the judicial equality guaranteed by the Constitution. It is the personal opinion of the Petitioner herein submitted, that the case of the innocent victims of the Narmada project may have been damaged by the association of these 2 ladies with their cause, probably given the vast chasm in their public statements and their pleadings in court.

9. The Petitioner is sufficiently disturbed and disaffected by the anti-national offences, detailed in summary above, prima-facie committed by the following persons a) Ms. Arundhati Roy, b) Mr. N.Ram (pro-forma accused) c) Ms. Medha Patkar d) M/s STAR TV networks including the management and ownership of this Indian incorporated foreign controlled TV channel, to inform the most hon'ble Supreme Court of India of these possible offences. From  information obtained by the Petitioner via the internet of documents purporting to be their affidavits in reply to your Hon’ble Court, the parentage and address of Ms.Arundhati Roy is daughter of Mary Roy, resident of 2A, Kautilya Marg, New Delhi 110021, and that of Ms. Medha Patkar is daughter of late Vasant Khanolkar resident of 6, Prasanna, 11th Road, Christian Colony, Chembur, Mumbai , Maharashtra State. The address and parentage of the others named is not known to the Petitioner. The Petitioner solemnly declares that he is sufficiently affected by the anti-judiciary message of the four offenders to now somewhat mistrust the fairness of the Judiciary and hence wishes to presently remain private as he trembles in a fear, instilled by the offenders, of the wrath of Judiciary rampant and consequent needless harassment.  However, should this poor excuse for a Petition be taken cognisance of by your exalted Lordships on merits, the Petitioner solemnly undertakes to bear witness or otherwise assist the hon'ble court in this matter as required despite the fact that he is not unsympathetic of several of the observations and charges levelled by some of the accused earlier before the Hon’ble Court.

10. It is relevant to humbly submit here briefly the following facts:-

a) The Petitioner does not personally know any of the accused  and bears no grudge or malice to them, except perhaps that he detests several TV shows on the STAR TV networks, mainly the soap operas which cater to the lowest denomination and are overtly communal.

b) The Petitioner is not affiliated to any political party or politico-legal organisation etc. in any way whatsoever, and has no malafides, or financial or professional interests in the affairs of the accused concerning the matters stated in this petition to the best of his knowledge.

c) The Petitioner is an  adult  male citizen of India resident at Chennai and is a respected and qualified professional in a  field unrelated to the law or the press and media etc. It is relevant to state here that public knowledge of  the Petitioner’s present and reluctant petition may be harmful to his social and professional  reputation, and if there is such a protection  as the right to privacy or secrecy the Petitioner invokes such right. It is also submitted that privacy of the Petitioner’s identity may be necessary in the event your Lordships endorse  the matter to a Superintendent of Police etc. for investigation or some such similar procedure wherein such option for protection of non-disclosure of complainant’s identity exists, and which flows from provisions such as found in section 125 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 etc.

d) The Petitioner has personally and solely drafted this petition present. The Petitioner has hitherto never initiated any legal proceedings whatsoever. It is relevant to state here that the Petitioner has no legal training, legal qualification, formal legal experience etc, and cannot afford to engage the services of a suitable pleader to appear on his behalf, and hence petitions the hon'ble court to appoint suitable pro bono amicus for the Petitioner if required to preserve the proprieties, dignity, decorum, efficiency and accuracy of any future proceedings involving the Petitioner in this matter. Till such time the Petitioner desires to be known as "Mr. X" if such a thing is possible for reasons stated earlier. It is further relevant to state here that the Petitioner under normal circumstances would not approach this hon'ble court with such a petition, except that the Petitioner believes himself by fact of law bound to inform the Law of offences under the said IPC sections, and with no other motive. The Petitioner is also deeply disturbed by the actions of 2 of the accused viz. Ms.Roy and Ms.Patkar in ascribing motives to the hon'ble court's decisions in their matters and their attempts to subvert the Constitution by initiating a pseudo-trial in the media knowing full well that it is nigh impossible for any sitting Judge to respond. It is further submitted that these 2 accused have systematically waged a campaign of fear and psychosis to dissuade ordinary  citizens  like  the  Petitioner  from  approaching  the  courts in future, by bandying it about that the Judiciary is divided, insofar as there are good judges and bad judges some of whom were specified by the accused, or that judges whimsically and routinely haul up ordinary litigants for contempt, whereas in fact the Petitioner's asserts his experience before Judges or Magistrates has been positive in every instance especially as regards attention to procedure, and the Petitioner’s faith in the Judiciary has been dented insamuch as a public and acclaimed figure as Ms. Arundhati Roy has seen fit to attribute motives to the Judiciary. In the words of personages from the Petitioner’s world : the Indian public would prefer “Gods who don’t play dice (Albert Einstein ? )” over “God’s who play dice on a regular basis (Stephen Hawking ? )” and it is this faith that Ms. Roy’s irrepressible and self-serving penchant for publicity has tarnished. It is relevant to state here that the Petitioner considers it necessary for Judges to be above the Law and immune from prosecution for their judicial actions as otherwise the Judges would lose their independence and that the absolute freedom and independence of Judges is necessary for the administration of Justice, and that these immunities are not for the particular benefit of a malicious or corrupt Judge but for the benefit of the public, whose interest it is that the Judges do excercise their functions with independence and without fear of consequences.

e) The Petitioner does not seek any publicity of any form whatsover, and would petition for in-camera proceedings in this matter if required to personally attend, and also for a non-publication and non-disclosure  order for any and all materials submitted by the Petitioner and  all references to him, except as part and parcel of a judicial order or judgement. In this context it is relevant to state here that in the course of drafting this Petition, the Petitioner has read over the Internet copies of documents purporting to be connected with in-camera proceedings of Ms.Roy, Ms.Patkar, Mr. Bhushan etc. before your Hon’ble Court, and while the Petitioner is also somewhat sympathetic to certain statements attributed to them therein, the Petitioner desires absolute privacy and is unwilling to be  drawn into a media circus.

f) The Petitioner humbly submits as background, though the Petitioner does not entirely agree with this, that there exists some opinion in the country and abroad that Ms.Arundhati Roy and Ms.Medha Patkar are acting at the behest of foreign powers opposed to the economic and territorial well being of India, and are possibly receiving funds from foreign sources to promote their naxalite and anti-national activities including sabotaging by delay the infrastructural development of India and propaganda against the integrity of the Indian Judiciary. In this matter their specific and repeated blocking of the Narmada project may be considered in the light of a similar project known as the “Three Gorges Dam” in a neighbouring country which free India has fought a war against and which was described as being our greatest threat by the hon’ble Union Minister for Defence, this same neighboring country is severely lagging behind India in judicial and human rights which has detrimentally affected ethical foreign investment in that country to India’s advantage, and it would not be out of place here to submit that Ms. Roy and Ms. Patkar would have probably faced the firing squad by now in that country for similar activities. These 2 accused are conceivably waging an economic and propaganda war against the Indian nation or the Government of India. It is long established in India from the times of the “Arthshastra” and earlier that economic warfare is a part of war, and from as recently as World War II and the recent Afghanistan war of “liberation” that propaganda and disinformation are components of the black arts of war.

g) The Petitioner humbly submits that a detailed review of all the broadcast tapes of M/s Star News and M/s Zee News on dates of 5th through to 13th of March 2002 may be necessary, and that these broadcast tapes being of prime evidentiary value as shown herein, may be required to be immediately called for before their possible destruction or tampering by the networks whose possession they are currently in.  Also all video and audio tapes from all possible sources of the proceedings of the press conference may also need be summoned on similar grounds. It is humbly submitted that there exists a possibility of the signal feed of the press conference that was up-linked from Indian soil having passed through foreign territories in control of powers unfriendly to India, where scope for sophisticated on-line tampering or manipulation exists, it is relevant to submit here that possibly a person close to Ms. Roy has special knowledge and expertise of this subject and possible links to M/s Star TV whose ultimate ownership is possibly unfriendly to the Indian state. It is relevant to submit here that in the opinion of the Petitioner that any broadcast or unbroadcast tapes or certain other videographic  records of this press conference would also be classifiable as electronic records as defined in section 65B (2)(a) through (d) Indian Evidence Act,1872.

h) The Petitioner humbly submits that Mr.Bhushan advocate, and all other persons present at the venue may be required to be questioned in this matter to ascertain the facts and obtain the written text of speeches.

i) The Petitioner most humbly submits that he be allowed to modify or amend his petition in light of any new information being available, or at the pleasure of the most hon’ble court.

j) The Petitioner humbly submits that in the event of the current matter already being under the hon'ble court's cognizance that he would be most honoured to be discharged from his civic obligation via this petition, or else enjoined in such action in any suitable capacity at the hon’ble court’s pleasure, with the proviso that in the most unlikely and reluctant event of a “complaint case” as defined u/s 210 of the CrPC being instituted with Petitioner as a complainant, he is presently unable to produce much evidence in support of such complaint except that which is available in the public domain or which may be summoned for.

k) The Petitioner not having access to the cause-list etc. of the most hon'ble court, or in fact any court,  has no obvious or ready means of determining if the hon'ble court has taken notice of this petition and this fact may be kindly noted. However, if at all the Petitioner's participation is required, suitable and prominent publicity within the geographical jurisdiction of the Amma Nagar  Police Station may be given by the town crier and by publicity and public advertisement in the English press and public notice outside the SDM’s Court ( Amma Nagar)  or otherwise at the hon’ble courts pleasure in the near future.

l) This Petition is unaccompanied by any affidavit or oath in standard form, for reason herein stated. To the best knowledge of the Petitioner, he is unable by reason of strong religious conviction to swear oath in the name of God, and also by reason of religious persuasion not legally or statutorily entitled, being neither Hindu nor Mohammedan, to give affirmation in place of oath. The Petitioner, however, solemnly declares that the facts or statements contained earlier in this petition are true and correct to the best of his knowledge or are on the basis of information or opinions received by the Petitioner and submitted for Judicial scrutiny, and the same may be possibly construed as affidavit under section 3(3) of the General Clauses Act.

m) Additional prayer. In addition to the various prayers inserted at the contextually appropriate places before, the Petitioner specifically prays that he will be excused from any procedural deficiencies in this petition and given an opportunity to rectify the same if required. It is relevant to submit here that apparently in the earlier SC Contempt  Petition, (Crl) 2 of 2001, case of M/s.J.R.Parashar and ors. v/s Mr. Prashant Bhushan and ors., that Petition was admitted and registered despite graver procedural deficiency in the similar overall interests of administration of Justice.

Most humbly submitted for the most hon'ble court's information with prayers as contained before or at your Lordship’s pleasure.

Place : Chennai                                                        ( Mr. X ) see para 10(d)
Date  : 1-April-2002                                                Petitioner / Declarant HOME
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