The CPI-M in Kerala on Monday alleged a section of media and certain 'vested interests' were trying to create a false impression that it had declared a war on judiciary by highlighting the party's critical views on the Kerala High Court order banning road-side public meetings.
The party, however, defended its stand on the issue maintaining that roadside meetings had been an important democratic means to educate people on vital issues, especially in India where large sections are still illiterate.
"Similarly, protest marches and public meetings are methods for people to give vent to their strong feelings and sentiments in a democratic manner," CPI-M state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan said in a statement.
Road-side meetings were a common practice in Kerala, also due to the factor that it was difficult to find open spaces since the state had a very high density of population, he said.
Vijayan said his party had only cleared its position in the wake of the High Court order and its intention was not to run down the judiciary or any particular judge.
"The right to air well-meaning criticism about court orders has been recognised even by judicial luminaries. The party had only exercised this democratic right. This should not be dubbed as a declaration of war on judiciary, as being propagated by a section of media and vested interests," he said.
Referring to charges that some party colleagues had shown disrespect to judiciary, Vijayan claimed this was being done by picking up a word or a phrase used instead of going by the spirit of their whole speech.
The CPI-M in Kerala has been under attack from its political rivals for sharply reacting to the High Court order.
A private petition seeking contempt proceedings against CPI-M state committee member M V Jayarajan is pending before the High Court for using alleged unsavoury language while criticising the judgement.