Rohatgi said the court cannot prosecute anybody for such comments as a politicians may genuinely hold these views.
New Delhi: A politician cannot be prosecuted for airing his personal views as there cannot be a moral code of conduct that can be enforced, attorney general Mukul Rohatgi told the Supreme Court on Wednesday on behalf of the Centre.
He made the assertion before a bench of Justices Dipak Misra and A.M. Kanwilkar in the context of former UP minister Azam Khan’s statement that that the Bulandshar rapes did not happen even before an FIR had been filed, or the case had been probed. “Such a comment can be made,” Mr Rohatgi said “You can’t have a moral code of conduct to govern this,” he added.
The court had earlier issued notice to Mr Khan on a petition against his remarks to explain his conduct on the ground that it interfered with the course of justice. Mr Khan has since apologised to the court.
“What about the victim’s rights? Her dignity has been assaulted. And right to fair trial?” Justice Misra said. “Liberty is not absolute. Can a public figure or person holding a public office make a comment like this on an investigation into a case involving third parties?”
Mr Rohatgi said the court cannot prosecute anybody for such comments as a politicians may genuinely hold these views.
Amicus curiae, or friend of the court, Fali S. Nariman also backed Mr Rohatgi’s views on the ground of free speech over everything else. “You can’t limit the freedom of speech of a politician.”