"This Is A Nation That Has A Constitution, Liberty Cannot Be Infringed Like This":Justice Indira Banerjee On Kanojia's Arrest
The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the immediate release on bail of journalist Prashant Kanojia who was arrested by the state police for sharing a derogatory tweet against UP CM Yogi Adityanath. However, the vacation bench headed by Justice Indira Banerjee allowed the local police to take action against Kanojia as per the diktat of the law.
"Now that there is a judicial order, he should have to approach the High Court...he can't seek Habeas Corpus here...the law is clear on this. A constitution bench of this court has said so"
"The law is actually clear...We have read the posts. It is a matter of opinion...We agree that such comments ought not to be made. But to arrest him? That would be an encroachment of personal liberty...", observed Justice Banerjee, inquiring about the provisions of law under which he was taken into custody.
"Ideally, we would not allow this under 32. But the Article is present for when one's liberty is curtailed. So when the illegality is so glaring, do we fold our hands and turn away the petitioner to go to the High Court?", remarked Justice Banerjee.
"Liberty, as a Fundamental Right, is sacrosanct and non-negotiable. It is a Constitutional guarantee. Bail must be given! It is not fair to expect him to seek remedy against the remand order from behind the bars", she asserted.
"We might not approve of the nature of his posts, but we are concerned about his arrest. This is a nation that has a Constitution. Liberty cannot be infringed like this", she stated.
"It would in fact be seen as an endorsement of a citizen's right to liberty"
"We also take so much from social media, we also bear the brunt, but can that result in incarceration? Show your magnanimity!", she urged.