Supreme Court Suo Motu Forces A Ban On Kanwar Yatra
Justice Rohinton Nariman headed Supreme Court Bench suo motu took cognisance of reports in The Indian Express about plans to hold a symbolic Kanwar Yatra and declared that Uttar Pradesh government cannot proceed with the Kanwar Yatra amid Covid pandemic.
Justice Rohinton Nariman, peremptorily announced on 16th July, “The State of Uttar Pradesh cannot go on with this 100 per cent”. Justice Nariman did not even consider the arguments put forward by the UP State government to hold a controlled symbolic Kanwar Yatra respecting the unbroken continuous religious tradition observed by austere Shiv Bhaktas / Kanwarias for the past hundreds of years as he felt that there is a rising fear of third wave of Covid-19 pandemic.
Justice Rohinton Nariman in essence said that Article 21, which enshrines the fundamental right to life rules over the fundamental right to religion. He said, “Health of the citizenry of India and the right to life are paramount. All other sentiments, albeit religious are subservient to this basic fundamental right. This concern for health of citizens of India is very touching, but for the Supreme Court’s wont of selectively choosing to recognise Superspreader events.
Does ‘Anti-Majoritarian’ SC Think Covid Spreads Selectively? What About Bakra Eid Gatherings?
It is quite baffling that Justice Nariman headed bench did not take notice of the ANI report on Kerala government’s decision to relax lockdown restrictions on July 18,19 & 20th for Bakra Eid. Permissions were additionally issued by the Kerala government to open garment, footwear, electronics, jewellery and fancy shops. Pertinently, Kerala and Maharashtra are worst hit by excess Covid cases. Kerala alone accounts for 35.36% of Covid daily cases in the country. It recorded a massive 13,773 fresh cases with 87deaths in the last 24 hours as on 16th July when the order for relaxation of Covid lockdown was announced by Kerala government for Bakra Eid. Justice Nariman of course failed to notice it, wittingly or unwittingly.
Perhaps Coronavirus is also ‘anti-majoritarian’ like our Supreme Court and only gets activated when Hindus exercise their religious rights. Notably, Justice Chandrachud in a speech on 13th July at an Indo-US conference on legal ties, controversially said the Supreme Court should play the role of a ‘counter-majoritarian institution’. This argument is highly flawed as it assumes that the majority is always wrong while the minority is always right. The job of the Supreme Court is to dispense justice according to rule of law and basic principles of natural justice and not inscribe Judge’s fancy ‘woke’ ideas while judging a case before it.
Does Minority Rights Include Right To Spread Covid?
The Judges of the Supreme Court also seem to be oblivious to the huge gatherings on the roads and mosques in many parts of the nation even when there is a raging pandemic due to Ramzan and Eid, but it hardly ever bothers them into action. Perhaps according to My Lords, ‘minority rights’ includes right to organise super-spreader events and the fundamental right to live under Article 21 is perhaps subservient to these exalted rights, as one cannot otherwise explain these bizarre double standards.
SC Blind To Super-spreader ‘Farmers Protests’
The Supreme Court is very curiously indulgent with the longest super-spreader event being held for the past 8 months aka ‘the farmers protest’ which has also caused tremendous inconvenience to the citizens apart from rioting and destruction of property. In fact, even the Punjab government ministers had recently blamed the ‘famers protests’ at Delhi Punjab border as the reason for the spike in Covid cases in rural areas of Punjab.
Neither did the Supreme Court adopt the same bench mark it set for itself as in the Kanwar Yatra case by suo motu cognisance of the super-spreader ‘farmers protests’ nor did it urgently take up a case filed by senior journalist Swati Goel and social activist Sanjeev Newar on 28th April for a complete ban of protests and large gatherings in all States and Union territories in the country to avoid spread of the deadly Coronavirus.
These inconsistencies in application of the law smacks of selective preferences and biases lowering the exalted position of the apex Court as a repository of justice.
Justice Rohinton Nariman’s Mischievous Statements On Rig Veda
Notably, at the 26th Justice Sunanda Bhandare Memorial Lecture held on April 16th this year, Justice Rohinton Nariman gave a lecture on “Great Women of History” in which he made some unsavoury comments on the attitude towards women in the Rig Veda.
Justice Rohinton Nariman reportedly said, “Rig Veda says do not make lasting friendship with women because she would be like hyena.”
This comment of Justice Nariman on Rig Veda hurt cultural and religious sentiments of many Hindus and several netizens expressed their displeasure on social media platforms. His comments also sadly reflected his flawed understanding of the Vedas and Upanishads, perhaps based on distorted mischievous translations and interpretations by people inimical to Sanatan Dharma.
Notably, Justice Rohinton in his aforementioned speech later went on to praise two women who according to him are epitome of women with valour and freedom of thought assuming powerful positions as independent rulers namely, Cleopatra and Razia Sultan.
Justice Rohinton couldn’t think of other more successful and valourous Hindu women who fought against all odds to battle the marauding Islamist invaders and colonial British/ Portuguese army like Rani Durgavati, Rani Laxmibai, Rani Chennamma, Rani Abbakka Chowta or the great Rani Ahilyabai Holkar who was an exemplary ruler of Indore for 30 years, while personally leading the army in battles to ward away invaders, a great institution builder and promoter of arts and culture.
Justice Rohinton Nariman’s Curious Inconsistency In Certain Judicial Cases
‘Astoma Sadgamaya’ Sanskrit Shloka Case
Justice Rohinton Nariman, admitted a preposterous petition for banning from Kendriya Vidyalaya Schools the Sanskrit prayer, ‘Astoma Sadgamaya, Tamasoma Jyotirgamaya, Mrutyorma Amritamgamaya, Om Shanti, Shanti Shantihi’, which roughly translates to ‘ Lead me to truth from ignorance, lead me to light from darkness, lead me to immortality from death, Peace! Peace! Peace!’ The petitioner had ridiculously claimed that singing of this prayer creates obstacles in development of scientific temperament and violates the rights of minorities, atheists, agnostics, etc. as the prayer is based on Hinduism.
Absurdly, instead of dismissing the petition, Justice Nariman admitted the case and has referred it to a Constitutional Bench in January 2019. During the course of arguments, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta quipped, My Lord do not admit this petition as you are sitting beneath the motto of Supreme Court Sanskrit shloka borrowed from Mahabarata– ‘Yatho Dharmastato Jayaha’, meaning ‘where there is Justice (Dharma), there is victory!’
Waseem Rizvi’s Petiton For Banning 26 Controversial Verses Of Quran
Curiously, Justice Rohinton Nariman headed bench on 12th April this year, adopted an utmost hands off approach in Waseem Rizvi’s petition in the Supreme Court seeking a ban on the 26 controversial verses of Quran which allegedly promotes terrorism. Justice Nariman headed bench called the petition frivolous and even imposed a punitive fine of Rs.50,000 without even examining the said verses of Quran. Rizvi had asked for ban on teaching these verses in madrasas as it allegedly infuses hatred for non-Muslims, radicalises young children and promotes violence.
It seems that certain faiths are very sacrosanct and not open to question even when they call for the death of non-believers, while scriptures and treatises on Hinduism can be open to any kind of twisted interpretation!
Sabarimala Temple Case
In September 2018, Justice Rohinton Nariman as part of the ‘woke’ Supreme Court bench in the Sabarimala case ruled that women in the age group of 10-50 years shold be forcefully allowed to enter the Ayyappan Swami Temple, by breaking the Agama Shastras where the deity is a Naishtika Brahmachari.
Shayara Bano Case
In August 2017, the ‘wokeness’ of the Supreme Court including Justice Nariman, disappeared as it grappled with Shayara Bano’s case seeking ban in polygamy (legally allowed only for Muslim men in India), halala and all forms of unilateral Talak. The Supreme Court conveniently only banned the instant Triple Talak as it is not part of Quran.
Funnily, in one of the observations during the course of the case when the then AG Mukul Rohtagi sought ban on polygamy, halala and all forms of Talak including Triple Talak, he was told by a Judge, as reported in the Times of India, ‘What about minority rights? You are leaving them with no minority rights’.
Justice Rohinton Nariman A Parsi Priest First
Pertinently, Justice Nariman, being born in a Parsi priest family and a trained practicing priest is said to be a Parsi priest by heart and a Judge only by profession.
Surprisingly, when Yogi Adityanath was appointed as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh by the BJP, senior advocate Fali Nariman, father of Justice Rohinton Nariman, vehemently opposed Yogi’s appointment as he was a religious figure. It begs one to ask if a Parsi priest can become a Supreme Court Judge, then why cannot a Hindu Priest become a Chief Minister? Fali Nariman also does not have any problem when a Mufti Mohammed Sayeed became a Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir.
Notably, on August 18, 2018, as reported in an news article by News 18, Justice Nariman had lamented, while hearing a case on caste-based reservations, that even his religion has been “Hinduised”. He reportedly said, “Even my religion has been Hinduised”.
These instances only buttress the growing sense of apprehension among Hindus about being discriminated against in their religious matters by the apex Court following the trend of ‘woke liberalism’ which believes in the motto, ‘Show me the man and I will show you the law”.
For any law to be followed it has to be consistently applied, inconsistency leads to arbitrariness and tyrrany, which was certainly not envisaged in The Constitution of India.
Image sourced from internet.