Former CJI Lodha slams police for failure to stop hate crimes
In a damning indictment of the present dispensation’s tacit approval of a growing culture of violence driven by bigotry, a former Chief Justice of India has come down heavily on the police for inadequate action in cases of hate crimes.
Speaking at an event on Human Rights Day Justice RM Lodha said, “There is laxity in the police action. This question is shaking me every day.” He wondered aloud if human rights were being respected in our country. “Despite adequate laws, constitutional safeguards and strong judiciary, we are not able to achieve the goals of protection of human rights,” he said.
Justice Lodha, who has a reputation for never mincing words, also reserved some scathing commentary on the contentious issue of cow vigilantism saying, “In the name of cow protection, human beings were slaughtered. Cow vigilantes are mushrooming everywhere.” On the subject of inter-faith marriages, he asked, “People have been killed in the name of love jihad. Should religion be a factor when two adults fall in love?”
He went to question the criminalisation of dissent and curbs on freedom of expression in the country. “Sedition charges are being invoked against activists. Cartoonists, actress and students were charged with sedition charges,” he said. Justice Lodha called for a strong and dependable mechanism for the protection of human rights.