Free speech not an excuse for abusing nationally revered figures, says SC

The Supreme Court recently observed that one cannot resort to abusive language against historical figures in the guise of artistic expression and free speech to accentuate sensationalism.

  • The court said though a person might have the liberty of thoughts, it could not be an excuse for abusing nationally revered figures.

Background:

  • The Court was dealing with a plea of a Marathi writer, who faced a criminal case over writing an “obscene” poem on Mahatma Gandhi.
  • The poem was published in the in-house magazine of the Bank of Maharashtra Employees Union in 1994.
  • The editor of the Magazine faced charges of publishing the ‘vulgar and obscene’ poem.

Sources: The Hindu.

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