Sunday, 5 April 2015

Can criticizing judiciary be CRIMINAL CONTEMPT?

Here are the extracts of two Facebook conversations I had with advocate friends, which I'm combining and reproducing here for the purpose of thought and discussion:
ADVOCATE: hello sir,i would like to share something with you... even though i like and i agree by ur each and every post, i m scared of commenting, sharing or liking it because i m afraid of contempt of court.... dont u feel so?
SUMMARY OF MY RESPONSES: Hi. If you like, comment on or share my judiciary posts on FB, you will be one among thousands of people who have done that... including at least 100 lawyers. I may of course be prosecuted for contempt of court sooner or later (because maybe I will make a mistake and overstep the line in a poster). But ask yourself, is it possible that they will prosecute hundreds or thousands of people for liking, commenting and sharing? I feel it is unlikely.
Many of the FB forums are moderated. My posts appear only after the moderator allows them. I am posting on roughly 200 forums. Some forums have multiple moderators, and most of the posts are allowed. Do you really think they will prosecute all the moderators for contempt?
Further, we are CRITICIZING THE CONDUCT OF THE ENTIRE INSTITUTION OF JUDICIARY and not one individual court or one individual judge. Isn't it within the domain of the free citizens of a democracy to criticize all organs of governance, including judiciary?
Taken together, all these Facebook posts, comments and discussions are PROFESSING A POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY, whose core belief is that to truly liberate our citizens from corruption and bad governance, we must reform the justice system. Can it be a crime for us to profess a political philosophy on any forum?
Ask yourself whether the costs of speaking out are higher, versus the costs of remaining silent. Things being the way they are in the judiciary, can we afford to remain silent for fear of contempt?
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