The Bold Voice of J&K

Supreme Court crossing Laxman Rekha


Omkar Dattatray

It is very unfortunate and unbecoming that the top court of the country-the Supreme Court had made unprecedented observations against suspended BJP Spokesperson Nupur Sharma the other day and it prompted the legal fraternity to slam the remarks of the Supreme Court against suspended BJP Spokesperson. The group of former judges, civil man servants and defense veterans has alleged that the Supreme Court bench has crossed the Laxman Rekha. They have commented that the unfortunate remarks and observations are not in sync the judicial ethos and have sent shock waves throughout the country and outside the country as well. This is a very disturbing development in the judicial history of the country. In fact these observations have no parallels in the annals of judiciary and are an indelible scar on the justice system of the largest democracy. These unbecoming and unwarranted remarks against Nupur Sharma have the potentially serious consequences on the democratic values and security of the country. The observations made by the Supreme Court judges are unprecedented and have no parallels in the judicial history of the country and thus the unfortunate remarks have been slammed by a group of the former judges, all India civil servants and the retired defense veterans. They are rightly demanding the rectification of the unfortunate observations so that these will have no adverse effects on the security and peace in the country. The unfortunate observations have laid an indelible scar on the justice system of the largest democracy and therefore the Supreme Court should take necessary steps to put the matters right by rectification of the unfortunate observations. While the group of former judges, civil servants and the defense veterans have slammed the remarks of the two judge bench, the top lawyers body has not find any fault in the oral observations of the judges and have in fact supported the remarks. All India Bar Association also wrote a letter to the Chief Justice N V Ramana urging him not to take cognizance of the letter petition of the group of former judges seeking withdrawal of the Supreme Court observations against Nupur Shrama. In fact, AIBA appreciated the remarks made by the two judges while hearing the rite petition concerning Nupur Sharma. The AIAB has said that while engaging with the counsel, it is natural for the judges to open up and make observations and suggestions. Thus the question of expunging the observations does not arise even though the remarks are irrelevant. Such observations have the potential of emboldening the radicalized youth and Udaipur and Amravati like incidents may take place in the country and therefore there is immediate need to expunge the unfortunate remarks which have serious security consequences on the country. The AIBA appreciates the observations of the judges as the offending remarks were made by a seasoned leader and a lawyer. Earlier a bench of justices Surya Kant and J P Pardiwala had on July 1st severely reprimanded Sharma for her comments against prophet Mohammed and said that her loose tongue has set entire country on fire and that she is single-handedly responsible for what is happening in the country. A social activist Ajay Gautam resident of Delhi has filed a rite petition praying for the withdrawal of the observations made by the Supreme Court judges against Nupur Sharma so that she gets a chance of fair trial. The statement made by the group of judges, former all India service officers and retired defense veterans is sharply critical of the observations made by two judge bench of the Supreme Court. The statement said that by no stretch of imagination these observations which is not the part of the judicial order, can be sanctified on the plank of judicial propriety and fairness. They also said that such observations are outrageous transgressions and have no parallels in the annals of judiciary. The group of Judges and the retired civil servants and the retired defense veterans further said the we concerned citizens do believe that democracy of any country will remain intact till all the institutions perform their duties as per the constitution. In fact the recent observations of the two judges of the Supreme Court have surpassed the Laxman Rekha and it has compelled the group under question to issue a statement slamming the observations. These unfortunate and unprecedented comments have sent shock waves in the country and outside and therefore these deserve to be withdrawn. The observations made are too serious to be underestimated and overlooked if rule of law, democracy has to sustain and blossom and deserve to be recalled with the stance that sooths minds that care for justice. The statement further said that court’s observations have no connect jurisprudentially with the issue raised in the petition and transgressed in an unprecedented manner all canons of the dispensation of justice. Nupur Sharma was defacto denied access to judiciary and in the process there was an outrage on the preamble, spirit and essence of the constitution of India which in fact is very disturbing. In the observations there is virtual exoneration of the dastardly beheading of Kanaiya Lal at Udaipur in broad daylight. In fact the legal fraternity is bound to be surprised and shocked at the observations that an FIR should lead to arrest. The observations on the other institutions of the country without notice to them are indeed worrisome and alarming. The group in question also defended Sharma’s plea for clubbing all FIRs against her citing previous orders of the apex court. In short it can safely be said that the observations of the Supreme Court are nothing short of crossing the Laxman Rekha and therefore deserves to be recalled and withdrawn.

(The author is a columnist and social activist).

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