Sabari­mala: Le­gal ex­perts dif­fer on vi­o­la­tion of SC ver­dict

Financial Chronicle - - FUNDAMENTALS, POLITICS - PRESS TRUST OF IN­DIA

LE­GAL ex­perts have dif­fer­ing views on al­leged vi­o­la­tion of the Supreme Court ver­dict al­low­ing en­try of women of all ages into Sabari­mala tem­ple with some sug­gest­ing "more pa­tience" and oth­ers blam­ing the Cen­tre for the non­com­pli­ance.

On Septem­ber 28, a five­judge con­sti­tu­tion bench in a 4:1 ver­dict paved the way for en­try of women of all ages into the Ayyappa tem­ple at Sabari­mala in Ker­ala say­ing that the preva­lent prac­tice of ban­ning women of 10 to 50 years amounted to gen­der dis­crim­i­na­tion.

The hill-top shrine has wit­nessed vi­o­lent protests in sup­port of and against the apex court ver­dict re­cently.

Se­nior lawyers and con­sti­tu­tional law ex­perts Rakesh Dwivedi and Ra­jeev Dha­van were of the view that though the cit­i­zenry "by and large" re­spects apex court ver­dicts, more pa­tience is needed in im­ple­ment­ing the judge­ments in con­tentious is­sues like the Sabari­mala case.

"Some more pa­tience is re­quired in these mat­ters be­cause peo­ple have vested in­ter­ests. You should give more time than jump to a con­clu­sion that it (ver­dict) is be­ing vi­o­lated. It needs more time. It will per­co­late slowly. The change will be slow in these mat­ters," Dwivedi ar­gued.

Echo­ing sim­i­lar views, Dha­van said though Sabari­mala was a "highly con­tentious is­sue", but the apex court ver­dict should have been re­spected. Giv­ing an ex­am­ple of a US court ver­dict, he said, "these things can­not be dealt co­er­cively and the is­sues have to ring in the minds in the peo­ple." On the other hand, se­nior ad­vo­cate and Congress Ra­jya Sabha MP KTS Tulsi blamed the cen­tral govern­ment for non-im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Sabari­mala ver­dict.

"It is a very sad state of af­fairs that the rul­ing party it­self is or­gan­is­ing crowds to op­pose the judge­ment of the Supreme Court. This amounts to break­down of the Con­sti­tu­tion.

"To my mind, it has never been done so bla­tantly ...In Delhi, BJP says that it will abide by the ver­dict and in Ker­ala, it goes and or­gan­ises crowds which are op­pos­ing the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Supreme Court judg­ment. It is a very sad devel­op­ment," Tulsi said. He, how­ever, said some judg­ments may be "dif­fi­cult to en­force" keep­ing in mind the sen­si­bil­i­ties of per­sons in­volved con­cerned, but the apex court has trig­gered a de­bate for so­cial re­forms which was not a small con­tri­bu­tion. An­other se­nior ad­vo­cate Ajit Sinha said that im­ple­ment­ing a judge­ment be­comes dif­fi­cult "when there is a mass move­ment".

"Sec­ond, there is lax­ity on the part of the au­thor­i­ties also. The im­ple­men­ta­tion is some­thing which has to be given ef­fect by peo­ple who are at the ground. The Supreme Court has di­rected but un­less the peo­ple un­der­stand that it is their job to im­ple­ment it in sus­tained ef­fort, it can't be," he said.

Lawyer Gopal Sankara­narayanan, who had ar­gued for a party sup­port­ing the ban, said that the apex court ver­dict can­not be "fol­lowed" as it (judge­ment) had em­pow­ered the tantri (priest) of the tem­ple to open and close the tem­ple gates.

"It (ver­dict) can't be fol­lowed. The 'tantri' of the tem­ple is fully en­ti­tled for open­ing and clos­ing of the tem­ple when­ever he wants to close it. It is to­tally left to the tem­ple priest to when he de­cides to close. So, if a woman is about to en­ter and he closes it, you can­not stop him. It is tech­ni­cal vi­o­la­tion of the or­der," Sankara­narayanan said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.