Justice Markandey Katju, chairman of the Press Council of India, has defended cartoonist Aseem Trivedi, who has been arrested on sedition charges for 'mocking the Constitution'.
Stating that the cartoonist has done nothing illegal, Justice Katju said these are occupational hazards, and politicians must learn to put up with them.
In a statement, he maintained that arresting a cartoonist or any other person who has not committed a crime, is itself a crime under the Indian Penal Code, as it is a wrongful arrest and wrongful confinement.
Cartoonist Trivedi was arrested on Sunday and produced in a Mumbai court, which sent him to police custody till September 16.
Trivedi, who was arrested on the on a private complaint filed by a lawyer in December last year on the charge that he had put up banners mocking the Indian Constitution during an Anna Hazare rally in Mumbai, was charged with sedition under Section 124 A of the Indian Penal Code, which is a non-bailable offence.
He was also charged under the IT Act and the 1971 National Emblem Act.
The cartoons by Trivedi reportedly depicted Parliament as a commode and showed the national emblem with wolves instead of lions.
The police claimed that Trivedi had earlier exhibited similar cartoons at a rally organised by India Against Corruption (IAC) at the MMRDA grounds in Mumbai in December 2011