Censorship is nothing but tyranny

In utter disbelief and stunned silence, we read H.K. Dua’s front-page editorial “It’s censorship” (April 15). While studying for the Bar at the Inns of Court School of Law in London in 1976, we had a Visiting Professor from Oxford to lecture us on Constitution. Comparing Constitution and Judiciary in the world, he commended the system that obtains in India. In particular, he cited the Supreme Court case pronounced by Justice Mehar Chand Mahajan. The very next day, Indira Gandhi declared Emergency. The Professor regretted the decision. There was no flood, famine or war. Raising his hands in despair, he declared “God save India”. Forget politics, we all know she did. Not only was the party in power routed but she lost her own seat in the elections.

Censorship is nothing but tyranny. It is enemy to freedom. It is quite extraordinary that a communique be addressed to a responsible daily like The Tribune in the mode and manner it allegedly has been done. Coming from the Punjab and Haryana High Court, claiming directions from the High Court, it indeed is a serious matter.

KARAM CHAND, Barrister, Chandigarh




Transparency in the judiciary is essential to protect the citizen’s right to information. The contempt law does not give the courts the freedom to browbeat the Press. Nor does it provide its custodians the licence to do whatever they like. The contempt law suffers from serious operational gaps. A balance between power and accountability has to be struck. What the media needs is a fresh approach and a bold initiative so that the judiciary cannot ride roughshod over the freedom of Press.

UMED SINGH GULIA, Advocate (Supreme Court), Gohana


I am proud that The Tribune is truly the watchdog of the Indian Republic and has no hesitation in speaking the truth, however unpalatable it may be to the powers that be. In essence, where public interest is involved, it is not the law of contempt but the freedom of expression and the people’s right to know that will prevail ultimately. It is because freedom to the Press is what oxygen is to human beings.

P.L. SETHI, Patiala


To quote Joseph Daniels, “A newspaper must be a crusader for righteous causes and must print in the column whatever “ God” permits to happen in His world”. If Mr M.M. Singh Bedi, is the Judicial Registrar-cum-PRO of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, he should focus on “public relations” and “freedom of Press”. H.K. Dua has used the word “censorship” quite appropriately. The Registrar should withdraw the communique he sent to the newspapers.

V. K. HEER, Raili-Jajri (Hamirpur)


Restrictions on newspapers will be in violation of the constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech and expression. This is a natural right and one should not be forced to get it sanctioned by some authority before he/she expresses his thoughts. Of course, there are reasonable restrictions in the exercise of fundamental rights. The restrictions, if imposed, should be in the interest of the general public and nothing more.

As for the judiciary, its honour and prestige must be maintained because this is the only institution which is protecting the people. But since people enjoy the right to know and the Press is the spokesman of the people, it’s right to disseminate information to people should not be curtailed.

DALIP SINGH WASAN, Advocate, Patiala


In a democracy, the fourth estate has to play a vital role in ensuring justice to the people, transparency in governance and accountability of those in authority. Over the years, newspapers have rendered yeoman service by exposing scams and denial of justice to hapless citizens by the powers that be. The Editor, therefore, is seen as a symbol of their feelings, rights and problems they face in their day-to-day life because of the indifferent attitude of the authorities. This sacred public trust has to be sustained.

Dr GURKIRPAL SINGH, Secretary, Forum for Public Cause, Ludhiana


H.K. Dua’s editorial “It’s censorship” reinforces the fact that the Press must assert itself. It is unfair and illogical on the part of the judiciary to issue a communique curbing the freedom of Press. H.K. Dua’s resolve to strive for accuracy and professional values despite the High Court’s directive is timely.



The judiciary’s omnipotence lies, first, in its prime function of providing speedy and visible justice to the people and secondly, to assist and uphold governance within the ambit of the law of the land and its Constitution. Any other motivation(s) would shake the foundation of one of the pillars, on which rests the nation as an institution.

K. K. KHORANA, Panchkula

For stamp on cricket victory

India’s victory in both one-day and Test series in Pakistan is historic. People in every nook and corner of India have been celebrating the country’s triumph. The team members were accorded a rousing reception after their return.

Isn’t it time for the authorities concerned to commemorate the victory by issuing a special postage stamp on the win? It will be a befitting honour for the cricket team in particular and the country in general. Suffice it to mention that Australia released a special stamp in honour of their cricket team’s victory against India in the World Cup last year.

As the country is in the election mode, the Vajpayee government would not be in a position to issue the stamp. If there is a problem in this regard, the new government that comes to power at the Centre after the Lok Sabha election, should implement this suggestion in the right spirit. This will give a big boost to the morale of millions of cricket lovers.

RISHI KOCHHAR, PRO, Amritsar Philatelic Club, Amritsar


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