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SC bats for dissent in democracy

'In a country which prides itself on its diversity, there are bound to be different perceptions and opinions which would include political opinions'
The Supreme Court of India
The Supreme Court of India
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R. Balaji   |   New Delhi   |   Published 10.12.21, 02:45 AM

The Supreme Court on Thursday said dissent was the “essence of a democracy” and the State should never browbeat political opponents and journalists.

The bench of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and M.N. Sundaresh made the remark while complimenting the Bengal government for withdrawing criminal cases against OpIndia editor Nupur Sharma and some of her colleagues.

Quashing the FIRs since the state government has decided to drop charges, the bench appreciated the role played by senior advocate Sidharth Dave, who represented the Bengal government. Senior advocate Mahesh Jethmalani appeared for Sharma and others.

“In a country which prides itself on its diversity, there are bound to be different perceptions and opinions which would include political opinions. That is (the) very essence of a democracy. The present proceedings in a way emanate from the same.

“We say so as what the petitioners have done is to reproduce what the political class has stated against each other…. State force should never be used to either browbeat a political opinion or the journalists suffer the consequences of what is already in public domain. We hasten to add that this does not take away the responsibility of journalists in how they report matters….” 



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