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Monday, June 17, 2024

Teesta Setalvad and the Case for Judicial Reforms in India

“Teesta Setalvad and the Case for Judicial Reforms in India”, News 18, July 14, 2023:

“On September 30, 1962, US President John F Kennedy sent 3,000 federal troops to protect the lone black man, James Meredith, to study in the all-white University of Mississippi where the racist Governor of the Mississippi state, Ross Barnett, himself stood with his Marshals blocking the entrance of Meredith to the university campus.

Such was the determination of JFK to protect the right of one black man that he risked his next presidential bid, which resulted in a violent clash with racist Southern whites, leaving two dead, 160 soldiers injured and 28 US Marshals wounded. Meredith was guarded 24 hours a day by reserve US Marshals and Army troops for him to be educated as any other white citizen. This is an oft-quoted example of the state using its might to protect the right of one individual, the testimony of a strong democracy.

When Teesta Setalvad was rejected bail by the Gujarat High Court on July 1, her lawyers reached out to the Supreme Court. Within hours of the Gujarat HC judgement, the SC constituted a two-judge panel, which could not come to a decision and referred the matter to Chief Justice DY Chandrachud who urgently constituted another three-judge panel the same night. This three-judge panel deliberated and granted her interim bail for eight days so that she can apply for bail in the Supreme Court…..”

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