Admitting frivolous petitions not only wastes time. It encourages intolerance.
The Bombay High Court should have powers to throw out some petitions because of reasons of, well, immense stupidity. If it does, it is certainly not using them. For a Division Bench of the court has asked ‘the state government to file its reply in connection with a petition demanding a ban on social networking site, Orkut, for hosting an anti-Shivaji Web community’.
In this vein, the Court should also ask the State or Central Government to reply why the following ought not to be banned:
1. The Internet — for certainly there are more anti-Shivaji, anti-Maharashtra, anti-India, anti-Hindu, anti-Muslim, anti-Sikh, anti-Libertarian, anti-Communist, anti-just-about-anything websites than there are members on Orkut.
2. The Telephone Network — for certainly, they say nasty things about live and dead people many Indians respect. Besides Orkut runs on the Internet, and people use the Telephone Network for Internet Access.
3. Paper — for certainly, they print ‘slang, rude and vulgar language’ about our heros.
4. Parliament — for MPs use ‘slang, rude and vulgar language’ all the time. On live television, with the young and the impressionable watching.
5. Television — because it broadcasts parliamentary proceedings.
If it admits the petition on Orkut, it should also admit the petitions calling for a ban on these other things too.
There’s plenty of debate over judicial activism. There should be one on judicial discretion too.