Madras High Court judge comes out in support of Aamir Khan

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Madurai: A judge of the Madras High Court has supported actor Aamir Khan, saying there was nothing wrong with the actor sharing with the people the contents of conversation between him and his wife Kiran Rao.

Addressing a seminar on ‘Intolerance and Freedom of Speech and Expression’ organised by Advocates’ Forum for Social Justice last night, Justice D Hariparanthaman said “the actor had only expressed his shock and surprise when his wife put forth the idea of going to some other country due to growing intolerance”.

Aamir is at the centre of a raging debate after he expressed “alarm and despondency” over the rise in incidents of intolerance in the last six to eight months at a media interaction in Delhi on Monday.

“Kiran (his wife) and I have lived all our life in India. For the first time, she said, should we move out of India…She fears for her child, she fears about what the atmosphere around us will be,” Aamir had said.

Hariparanthaman said, “Intolerance grows when rulers do not maintain a distance from religion.”

Incidents including lynching of a man on suspicion of eating beef and murder of rationalists proved “there is an undeclared emergency in the country”, the judge said.

The judge also suggested amendment to delete the last line of Article 48 of the Constitution, which impresses upon the states “to take steps to prohibit slaughter of cows, calves and other milch and draught cattle”.

“Only society could stand firm against oppression and intolerance,” he said, adding, “The society could not even depend on institution including the judiciary to reclaim its rights.”

“Many judgements had gone against the oppressed. Hence the oppressed people have to fight for their rights on their own. Rights could not be won through courts alone,” he said.

On reservation in higher judiciary, he said, “Only nine Scheduled Caste lawyers had been elevated as judges of the Madras High Court in its 153-year-old history and only six judges had managed to become Supreme Court judges since independence”.

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