Free Press Journal

Hampering activists’ work is not a good sign in democracy: HC

FOLLOW US:

Eknath Khadse, Maharashtra, Maharashtra cabinet, BJP, BJP Leader

Mumbai : Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and ousted revenue minister Eknath Khadse has egg on his face. The ruling BJP has again been ‘embarrassed’ by the judiciary for being intolerant of dissent.

This time it is the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court making some strong observations against Khadse and the party, for ‘hampering’ the work of a social activist. In its important order, the HC has said that hampering the work of any social activist is not a ‘good sign in a democracy.’

A division bench of Justices Tanaji Nalawade and Vibha Kankanwadi made the strong observations while quashing a FIR registered by Khadse against social activist Anjali Damania. It may be noted Damania had spearheaded the campaign against Khadse, accusing him of usurping several parcels of land in various parts of Maharashtra.


“In all, 20 offences have been lodged against Damania and most of them are from the same political party (BJP) persons and that too in respect of defamation,” the bench noted.

“When a social activist want to agitate against certain alleged misdeeds by adopting legal procedure, then if such a social activist’s work is hampered in such a way, then it cannot be said to be a good sign in a democracy. One of the tasks which social activists undertake, is to point out wrongdoings by the government, its officials or the persons who run the government,” the judgment authored by Justice Kankanwadi reads.

The bench further observed that pointing faults, taking action against erring officials as well as political persons, can be said to be a part of act undertaken by social activists. “It would be otherwise difficult for the social activists to point out illegalities or errors in the system. Definitely the FIR appears to be nothing but a political vendetta,” the judges said.

Khadse, former revenue minister, had registered an FIR against Damania for allegedly trespassing his house and rioting. He had registered the criminal complaint after relying on the ‘press conference’ addressed by self-proclaimed activist Kalpana Inamdar, who accused Damania of forcing her to keep some incriminating material along with cash in Khadse’s office at Mumbai.

The bench further trashed Khadse’s case, which solely relied on the ‘vague’ story made by Inamdar.

“Inamdar’s story is as vague as possible. When the person on whom Khadse wanted to rely had no evidence with her, it would be a futile exercise to keep such FIR pending,” the bench said while quashing the complaint.

A division bench of Justices Tanaji Nalawade and Vibha Kankanwadi made the strong observations while quashing a FIR registered by Khadse against social activist Anjali Damania