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Tripura questioning plea for probe into violence is ‘whataboutery’: Bhushan

The Tripura government, in its reply to the Supreme Court, had criticised the "selective outrage" of "public spirited" citizens behind the petition represented by  Prashant Bhushan

The Tripura government, in its reply to the Supreme Court, had criticised the "selective outrage" of "public spirited" citizens behind the petition represented by Prashant Bhushan

‘Advocate Prashant Bhushan told the Supreme Court on Monday that it was “totally unbecoming” of the Tripura government to indulge in “whataboutery” by asking why the same petitioners seeking an independent probe on violence in the State were silent about violence of a larger scale in West Bengal.

"I just have to say this... what the State government said amounts to whataboutery. It does not show the State government in a good light. Whataboutery is totally unbecoming of a State government," Mr. Bhushan addressed a Bench led by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud.

The senior lawyer said "one can imaginec-grade channels doing whataboutery, but not a State government".

The Tripura government, in its reply to the Supreme Court, had criticised the "selective outrage" of "public spirited" citizens behind the petition represented by Mr. Bhushan.

The Tripura government had urged the apex court to dismiss the petition filed by advocate Ehtesham Hashmi, saying the court was being used for an oblique purpose in the name of public interest.

Tripura argued that the petitioners did not move a few months back when communal violence hit West Bengal, and suddenly their public sprit was aroused due to some instances in a small State like Tripura.

“It is pointed out that such a selective outrage of the petitioner is not presented before this court as a defence but to satisfy this court that under the garb of public interest, the august forum of this court is used for apparently oblique purposes,” an affidavit filed by the state government had said.

“It is not a question of one petition or the other but the majesty and sanctity of the proceedings before the highest court of the country. No individual or group of individuals professionally functioning as public spirited persons/groups can selectively invoke the extraordinary jurisdiction of the court to achieve some apparent but undisclosed motive. The selective rousing of public interest itself justifies dismissal of the petition with exemplary cost,” the affidavit has stated.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta was not present in the hearing. Mr. Bhushan also sought time during the course of the week to file a rejoinder to the State's affidavit.

The court scheduled the case for Monday next week.


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Printable version | May 13, 2022 3:23:00 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tripura-questioning-plea-for-probe-into-violence-is-whataboutery-bhushan/article38320494.ece