Fact Check: Singapore chief justice did not comment on Indian judiciary, man in viral video is academician Mohan Gopal
The person raising concern over the appointment of judges with political bias in the Indian judicial system is Dr Mohan Gopal, a renowned legal educationist of India. The viral post’s claim that he is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Singapore is false.
- By Vishvas News
- Updated: March 29, 2023
New Delhi (Vishvas News): A video is being shared on social media with the false claim that the Chief Justice of Singapore has raised concerns over the growing influence of religion on Indian judiciary. The viral post claims that the man seen in the video is Sundaresh Menon, the Chief Justice of Singapore Supreme Court, and he is saying that an increasing number of Indian judges regard religion, instead of Constitution, as the source of law.
In the video, the person can be heard saying that the effort is to make India a ‘Hindu Rashtra’ by 2047 and this will be done not by rejecting the Constitution, but by interpreting it. In his speech, he advocates maintaining the collegium system and denying any role of the government in the appointment of judges.
Vishvas News, in its investigation, found this claim to be false. The person seen in the viral video is not the Chief Justice of Singapore Supreme Court, but Professor G Mohan Gopal. Professor Gopal is the Director of the National Judiciary Academy and former director of the National Law School of India University.
Sharing the viral video (archive link), social media user ‘Farhat Jabin Shakil’ wrote, “The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Singapore, Sundaresh Menon, speaks on how the Constitution of India could be hijacked by Chaddi Judges to turn India into a Hindu Rashtra. (“Singapore Supreme Court Chief Justice Sudarshan Menon explained how the judges, motivated by a particular ideology, are arbitrarily interpreting the Constitution to convert India into a Hindu nation.”)
Several other users have shared the same video with similar claims. The post has also been shared on Twitter with the same claim.
The viral video clip has the logo of Live Law, a website providing information about legal news. In reverse image search, a news article published on February 18, 2023, was found. The article identified the person speaking in the viral video as famous lawmaker Dr Mohan Gopal. Dr Gopal had while speaking on ‘Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms (CAGR) on Executive Interference in Judicial Appointments’ expressed concern about the appointment of judges on the basis of political bias. In his address, he advocated the collegium system for the appointment of judges.
This report was also published on the website of Live Law Hindi. In his address, he referred to a two-pronged strategy to achieve the goal of establishing a ‘Hindu Rashtra’ by 2047, saying, “To do that, the first phase is appointing judges who are open to looking to theological sources beyond the Constitution. The second phase, which will now begin, is to appoint judges who identify the source. That began, for example, in the Hijab judgement, where one of the two judges actually said- “panth nirapeksha” means religion and not Dharma and said that the constitution doesn’t say “dharma nirapeksha”, it says “panth nirapeksha”. And he said that dharma applies to the constitution and actually says in the judgement that constitutional law is dharma. What he means by Dharma is Sanatana Dharma. So he’s saying that our constitutional law is Sanatana Dharma. He is saying we need to take into account dharma in applying the law.”
Vishvas News contacted Brij Dwivedi, Associate Editor of Live Law, regarding the viral video clip. He confirmed, “The person seen in the video is Professor G Mohan Gopal, a renowned legal educationist and not the Chief Justice of the Singapore Supreme Court.”
Many of his other videos can also be viewed on the official Twitter handle of LiveLaw.
Information about the Supreme Court and its judges is given on the official website of Singapore, judiciary.gov.sg. According to the information, Sundaresh Menon is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court there. The difference between the photographs of Chief Justice of Singapore Sudarshan Menon and renowned Indian legal educationist Dr Mohan Gopal can be clearly seen in the collage shown below.
The profile of the user who shared the viral video with the false claim is inspired by a particular ideology. Fact check reports of Vishvas News in total 12 languages including Hindi and English can be read by clicking here.
Conclusion: The person raising concern over the appointment of judges with political bias in the Indian judicial system is Dr Mohan Gopal, a renowned legal educationist of India. The viral post’s claim that he is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Singapore is false.
- Claim Review : Chief Justice of Singapore raises concerns over the growing influence of religion on Indian judiciary
- Claimed By : Fb user: Farhat Jabin Shakil
- Fact Check : False
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