Justice Markandey Katju’s article (“Even the chairman has the freedom of speech,” Feb. 27) is a feeble attempt to answer the points raised by Arun Jaitley. By taking a public stand against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, Justice Katju has brought down the stature of his office.
As Chairman of the Press Council of India, if Justice Katju were to take a decision against the Gujarat government, Mr. Modi and his supporters can say he is biased.
True, Justice Katju has the right to pass comments but his responsibilities should take priority over his freedom of speech. A retired judge doesn’t need to be reminded of this. Besides, he is selective in his criticism. Aitraz aapke bolne par nahin; shikayat aapki janib dari se hai (the objection is not over your speech but your partiality).
Justice Katju is a great jurist, scholar and visionary. He is outspoken and I have always admired him for calling a spade a spade.
That said, as someone holding a high office, he should restrict his frankness to issues which have a bearing on the fourth estate. All citizens, no doubt, have the right to freedom of speech but it will be prudent on his part to exercise restraint in his own interest.
C.P. Chandra Das,
When a person is occupying a constitutional post, he should refrain from doing things that can lower the dignity of the office. Imagine what will happen if all those occupying such high offices start expressing their personal political views.