PUCL Bulletin, April 2002

March 8, 2002

Press Statement:

Dr. Y. P. Chhibbar, General Secretary, PUCL has issued the following statement:

Contempt of Court

"The PUCL is shocked at the conviction of Ms. Arundhati Roy by a Supreme Court bench for contempt of court. The bench showing leniency to her because she was a "woman" also amuses the PUCL.

"The PUCL is inclined to think that some way has to be found to remove the subjectivity of the judge trying contempt cases. There is the case of Justice Krishna Iyer, one of the finest judges who sat in the Supreme Court, being tried for contempt by the Kerala High Court! The right of a citizen to have and express an opinion of any Judgement of the courts, we believe, is as fundamental as any other right.

"The PUCL is confident that the media and civil liberties and human rights activists will continue to safeguard the freedom of expression guaranteed by the Constitution. The men and women who kept vigil outside Tihar jail while Arundhati Roy was spending her time inside, deserve congratulations as through the expression of their solidarity with Ms. Roy they were fighting for freedom of expression.

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