Two judges strike dissenting note to majority opinion.
Justices Rohinton Nariman and D.Y. Chandrachud on Thursday lashed out at the “organised” violation of the Supreme Court’s judgment in September 2018 that allowed women between the age of 10 and 50 to worship at the Sabarimala temple.
Justice Nariman, in a dissenting opinion on Thursday, said a judgment of the Constitution Bench was “openly flouted” when the nation had to witness the “sad spectacle of unarmed women between the ages of 10 and 50 being thwarted in the exercise of their fundamental right of worship”.
“When the (legal) process is complete and a decision is pronounced, it is the decision of the Supreme Court and binds everyone. Compliance is not a matter of option,” the judge said.
The judge’s remarks were in reference to large-scale protests and violence which rocked Kerala in the aftermath of the September 2018 judgment.
Justice Nariman directed the Kerala government to give wide publicity to the dissenting opinion through the medium of television and newspapers and take steps to secure the confidence of the people.
The majority opinion led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and two other judges on the Bench, referring certain issues to a seven-judge Bench, however, superseded the opinion of Justices Nariman and Chandrachud.
Whoever flouts a Supreme Court judgment, be it the Prime Minister, Chief Minister or legislators, they would be violating their constitutional oath to uphold, preserve, and defend the Constitution, Justice Nariman observed.
“Once this is clearly understood and followed, the rule of law is established, and the shameful spectacle of political parties running after votes, or instigating or tolerating mob violence, in defiance of decrees or orders passed by the Supreme Court of India does not reign instead,” Justice Nariman wrote.