I am informed that my senior counsel, Mr. Gopal Subramaniam argued today before the Supreme Court that had Parliament only said that it disagrees with my view of Gandhi and Bose he would have nothing to say. But the resolutions of both Houses of Parliament say that they '' condemn '' me, and that my statement is '' deplorable ''. Surely this adversely affects my reputation. And it has been held in several decisions of the Supreme Court that right to reputation is part of Article 21 of the Constitution, and is therefore a fundamental right.
Mr. Subramaniam also argued that had the statement ( condemning me and saying my view is deplorable ) been made by a private person the position may have been different. But when it is made by a State institution, particularly by a high state institution like Parliament, it comes under a different category, and certainly affects my reputation, apart from affecting my freedom of speech guaranteed by Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution.
Mr Subramaniam submitted that several eminent persons, such as the renowned jurist and lawyer Seervai, held the same view as mine about Gandhi
The initial observations of the bench were only tentative, and the case has been adjourned for 2 weeks. In the meantime the doyen of the bar, Mr.Fali Nariman has been requested by the bench to act as amicus curiae, and he and the Attorney General, Mr. Mukul Rohatgi have been asked to present their views on the next date. There is no verdict in the case as yet. In fact by today's order, including Fali Nariman and the Attorney General, the debate has been broadened.
The issues involved in this case are of great importance for democracy in this country.