Justice Katju told to impose President’s rule in Andhra Pradesh

Former Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju has requested President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi through Twitter to impose President’s rule in Andhra Pradesh by dismissing the Chandrababu Naidu government and dissolving the Legislative Assembly. He also sought fresh elections to be ordered under Article 356 of the Constitution. Justice Katju stated in his message on the microblogging site that Mr. Naidu got social media activist I. Ravi Kiran arrested recently for publishing a cartoon against him (the CM) and his son.

“By this unconstitutional, autocratic and undemocratic act it is evident that the A.P. Government cannot be run in accordance with the Constitution and under Article 356 in such an event President’s rule should be imposed in the State,” Justice Katju stated. Justice Katju, who was also former chairman of the Press Council of India, asserted that the making and publishing of cartoons is a part of the freedom of speech guaranteed under Article 19 (1) (a) of the Constitution. It is the right of citizens to criticise the government as the people are supreme in a democracy, he said.

Justice Katju’s remarks assume significance against the backdrop of A.P. Government’s determination to hold social media activists accountable for their posts. Mr. Ravi Kiran was arrested earlier this month for allegedly making derogatory comments on Mr. Naidu and his son Lokesh on his Facebook page. The arrest of another social media commentator I. Ravindra Reddy in Bengaluru on Tuesday for reportedly posting objectionable content against the A.P. CM and Ministers on Twitter and Facebook brought the government’s intention to exercise control on the social media into sharp focus.

He tagged AP CM N. Chandrababu Naidu, Rashtrapati Bhavan and Prime Minister Office in the tweet. Social media activist and Facebook page Political Punch admin Inturi Ravikiran, who was arrested by the AP police a couple of days ago, is currently lodged in Guntur sub jail.

Source : http://www.thehindu.com

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