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Supreme Court rejected employee’s plea and said Freedom of Speech is not absolute, can`t credit profane words to Mahatma Gandhi

 A bank employee’s plea was dismissed by Supreme Court on 14 May 2015 where he was charged for publishing in 1994, some vulgar poem about Mahatma Gandhi when he was an editor of a magazine. Justices Prafulla C Pant and Dipak Misra told that no one can use vulgar and bad language about such a great person like Mahatma Gandhi who is respected all over the world.

Bombay High court had held that Devidas Ramchandra Tuljapurkar should be punished for selling of obscene books on Gandhi and told that freedom of speech is not absolute and so they should not cross their parameters of decency.  Supreme Court upheld the decision of the Bombay High Court. Bench had told Mr Tuljapurkar to put his point of view in the trial court. He was the editor of in-house magazine of Bank of Maharashtra Employees Union.  Criminal proceedings against the publishers and the printers were quashed relating to the publishing of the Marathi poem written by Vasant Dattatraya Gurjar when they had tendered their apology.

Tuljapurkar was made the accused in 1994, in this case, where he was accused for publishing vulgar poem on Gandhi and he pleaded against it to Apex court and in April court had reserved its verdict on the plea.  In his plea he had asked to quash the accusation which was under Section 292 of IPC. Court held that it will decide on whether by placing indecent words in Gandhi’s mouth by the poet in the poem, would come under ambit of freedom of speech or not.

The poem written by Gurjar was “Gandhi Mala Bhetala Hota” in 1984. The lawyer who represented Tuljapurkar told that the Marathi people or those who understood Marathi told that the poem was satirical in nature. Tuljapurkar had approached the Supreme Court requesting the court to quash the Bombay high court order. For such crimes and those who do it for first time the punishment is for 2 years and Rupees 2,000 of fine under the law. In 1994 Bank of Maharashtra Employees Union’s in-house magazine had published this poem and since then Tuljapurkar has been facing charges up on publishing of the poem. Previously Patit Pawan Sanghatana had gone ahead and complained to Pune police stating that this poem was obscene and tarnish the image of father of our nation.

by Sushma Javare.