In the evolution of the system of a state, territorial sovereignty and power thereof have been given the highest importance. The sovereignty of a state is defined in terms of its right to have absolute and unlimited legal or political powers within its territory. The right is further strengthened by the position that the state is a democracy and ultimate sovereignty lies with its people. A similar position has been adopted by Article 2(4) of the United Nations Charter, which effectively prohibits foreign powers from meddling in the internal affairs of a country. It restrains its members from ‘threat’ or ‘use of force’ against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state.
But the globalization-induced borderless concept has allowed international vested interest groups to meddle in the internal affairs of a country and challenge the sovereign rights of a democratic state like India. The self-declared messiah of life & liberty manufactures theories of different kinds of oppressions and sustains their business of human rights. In the propaganda advancement, they try to undermine every institution of democracy and create a social anarchical atmosphere. To control these mushrooming international propaganda seekers, India needs to devise effective legal tools.
Supreme Court’s emphasis to take action against Teesta Setalvad & Sreekumar
Following the supreme court judgment in the case of Gujarat riots 2002 in which, the acts of Teesta Setalvad and Shri Sreekumar have been said to be made of ulterior design and to keep the pot boiling, Gujarat police proceeded with action against them.
The action taken aligns with the Supreme Court’s observations said, “the learned Solicitor General would submit that the SIT should have taken steps to prosecute Ms. Teesta Setalvad for damning the elected representatives, bureaucracy, and police administration of the whole State of Gujarat for ulterior purposes”.
The Court in its judgment opined that “the present proceedings have been pursued for last 16 years (from submission of complaint dated 8.6.2006 running into 67 pages and then by filing protest petition dated 15.4.2013 running into 514 pages) including with the audacity to question the integrity of every functionary involved in the process of exposing the devious stratagem adopted (to borrow the submission of learned counsel for the SIT), to keep the pot boiling, obviously, for ulterior design. As a matter of fact, all those involved in such abuse of process, need to be in the dock and proceeded with in accordance with the law.”
The Supreme Court’s emphasis to take action for the ‘abuse of process’ against Teesta Setalvad and Shree Sreekumar was taken cognizance by Gujarat’s Anti Terrorism Squad and proceeding with the order, they arrested both of them under various sections of the Indian Penal Code.
International observers meddling in the judicial process
Following the arrest, a global meltdown of international observers in India and its determinants around the world started. These propaganda seekers started to vomit their biases on law of the land and launched a coordinated attack on the democratic institutions of the country.
Mary Lawlor, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) said, “Deeply concerned by reports of WHRD Teesta Setalvad being detained by Anti-Terrorism Squad of Gujarat police. Teesta is a strong voice against hatred and discrimination. Defending human rights is not a crime. I call for her release and an end to persecution by the Indian state.”
Deeply concerned by reports of #WHRD Teesta Setalvad being detained by Anti Terrorism Sqaud of Gujarat police. Teesta is a strong voice against hatred and discrimination. Defending human rights is not a crime. I call for her release and an end to persecution by #Indian state.
— Mary Lawlor UN Special Rapporteur HRDs (@MaryLawlorhrds) June 25, 2022
The local arm of Amnesty International, Amnesty India said “Detention of prominent human rights activist Teesta Setalvad by the Indian authorities is a direct reprisal against those who dare to question their human rights record. It sends a chilling message to civil society & further shrinks the space for dissent in the country. Setalvad’s detention comes a day after the Supreme Court dismissed a petition filed by her along with Zakia Jafri, whose husband was murdered during the 2002 Gujarat riots. The petition sought to investigate the role of PM Narendra Modi, who was then Gujarat’s Chief Minister. Today, the Gujarat police detained Teesta Setalvad for allegedly committing forgery and fabricating evidence amongst other charges.”
“Targeting human rights activists for their legitimate human rights work is unacceptable. The Indian authorities must immediately release Teesta Setalvad, and end the persecution of Indian civil society and human rights defenders,” they added.
Targeting human rights activists for their legitimate human rights work is unacceptable. The Indian authorities must immediately release @TeestaSetalvad, and end the persecution of Indian civil society and human rights defenders.
— Amnesty India (@AIIndia) June 25, 2022
It must here be noted that these international observers here in India claim to be the defenders of human rights and law. But, their acts in actuality reflect some sort of different meanings. Challenging the constitutional authority of the Supreme Court, they are trying to save a criminal who has, for 16 years continuously, harassed an innocent public representative and kept engaged every state’s administration for her personal ulterior purposes. For 16 years, police, bureaucracy, and judiciary were made to play in the hands of the ‘vulture human rights brigade’ and precious time of court was deliberately wasted.
To save democracy from these vultures and maintain the integrity of its institutions, India needs to devise a law that prohibits foreign meddling in internal judicial matters. Further, amendments should be brought to the UN charter to enlarge the definition of territorial integrity and political independence of a state and provisions should be made to limit the scope of these ‘international observers’ in internal matters of a sovereign state.
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