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HomeFact CheckViral Message Claiming CJI Chandrachud Has Urged Citizens To Revolt Against Govt Is...

Viral Message Claiming CJI Chandrachud Has Urged Citizens To Revolt Against Govt Is False

Authors

Kushel HM is a mechanical engineer-turned-journalist, who loves all things football, tennis and films. He was with the news desk at the Hindustan Times, Mumbai, before joining Newschecker.

Ruby leads editorial, operations and initiatives at Newschecker. In her former avatar at New Delhi Television (NDTV), India’s leading national news network, she was a news anchor, supervising producer and senior output editor. Her over a decade-long career encompasses ground-breaking reportage from conflict zones and reporting on terror incidents, election campaigns, and gender issues. Ruby is an Emmy-nominated producer and has handled both local and international assignments, including the coverage of Arab Spring in 2011, the US Presidential elections in 2016, and ground reportage on the Kashmir issue since 2009.

Claim
CJI DY Chandrachud has urged citizens to “come out on the streets” to oppose the government.

Fact
The CJI did not make any such statement, said the Supreme Court of India.

A purported quote by CJI DY Chandrachud has gone viral on Whatsapp, where he is allegedly exhorting Indian citizens to unite and come onto the streets to question the present “dictatorial” government, their rights, while assuring his full support in their efforts to save the constitution and “democracy of India”. 

 CJI DY Chandrachud has not urged people to protest against the current government by taking to the streets, the viral quote was found to be fake and fabricated.

We have received this claim on our Whatsapp tipline (9999499044), requesting it to be fact-checked.

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SC Hearing On Abrogation Of Article 370

A five-member constitution bench of the Supreme Court, headed by CJI DY Chandrachud, is currently hearing a batch of pleas challenging the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution on August 5, 2019, which conferred special status on the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Multiple petitions have been filed by political parties, private individuals, lawyers, activists, challenging the presidential order stripping the special status and the parliament’s action of splitting it into two Union Territories. The hearing is set to resume on August 16.

Fact Check

Newschecker first ran a keyword search for CJI Chandrachud’s viral quote for any news reports, considering its incendiary nature and that it allegedly came from a sitting CJI, who has been serving since November 2022. We found no credible news reports, raising our doubts.

We noticed that the viral graphic appeared like a translation done via Google Lens, considering the uneven fonts, background colour and grammatical errors. A relevant keyword and image search, after translating the text into Hindi, led us to this Facebook post by Indian Olympic medallist-boxer and politician Vijender Singh.

 CJI DY Chandrachud has not urged people to protest against the current government by taking to the streets, the viral quote was found to be fake and fabricated.

Viral Quote Is Fake, Clarifies SC

The Supreme Court of India issued a press note on August 14, 2023, rubbishing the fake quote. “It has come to the notice of the Supreme Court of India that a social media post (invoking the public to protest against authorities) using a file photograph and falsely quoting the Chief Justice India is being circulated.  The post is fake, ill-intended and mischievous. No such post has been issued by the Chief Justice of India nor has he authorised any such post. Appropriate action is being taken in this regard with the law enforcement authorities,” read the press release.

Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta, too, reportedly confirmed that the message being circulated was fake. “It is a fake forward. No CJI will ever do such a thing, much less a luminary like CJI Chandrachud. Steps should be and will be taken for such serious mischief in the name of Hon. Chief Justice of India,”  Solicitor General Mehta told Law Today.

While looking up reports on any related CJI statements about “saving democracy”, as seen in the viral quote,  we learnt that during a felicitation by the Bombay high court after CJI Chandrachud assumed office in November 2022, he had stated that the “fearless sense of independence of courts” saved democracy during the Emergency in 1975. “It was judges like Rane who kept the torch of liberty burning which had become dim in those years of Emergency in 1975. It was the fearless sense of independence of our courts which saved Indian democracy in 1975,” the CJI reportedly said, adding that the Indian democracy stands firm because of the “fierce tradition of our own courts, of the judges of the bar who have come together and hoisted the flag, and the torch of freedom for which our court stands and has always stood”.

On protests, chief justice Chandrachud, while serving as a Supreme Court judge in 2020, had called dissent a “safety valve” of democracy, while stating that use of state machinery to curb dissent instils fear, which violates the rule of law.  Chief justice Chandrachud said “blanket labelling” of dissent as anti-national or anti-democratic strikes at the “heart” of the country’s commitment to protect Constitutional values and promote deliberative democracy, read a Hindustan Times report, dated February 15, 2020. Chief justice Chandrachud’s comments came amid the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC), which had triggered massive protests in many parts of the country.

However, none of these reports attributed any quote urging people to take to the streets to oppose the current government to the CJI.

We have reached out to the Supreme Court and will update this article once we receive a response.

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Conclusion

CJI DY Chandrachud has not urged people to protest against the current government by taking to the streets, the viral quote was found to be fake and fabricated.

Result: False

Sources
Supreme Court of India press release, August 14, 2023
India Today report, August 14, 2023


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Authors

Kushel HM is a mechanical engineer-turned-journalist, who loves all things football, tennis and films. He was with the news desk at the Hindustan Times, Mumbai, before joining Newschecker.

Ruby leads editorial, operations and initiatives at Newschecker. In her former avatar at New Delhi Television (NDTV), India’s leading national news network, she was a news anchor, supervising producer and senior output editor. Her over a decade-long career encompasses ground-breaking reportage from conflict zones and reporting on terror incidents, election campaigns, and gender issues. Ruby is an Emmy-nominated producer and has handled both local and international assignments, including the coverage of Arab Spring in 2011, the US Presidential elections in 2016, and ground reportage on the Kashmir issue since 2009.

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