Indian courts and forked tongues?

'Law and order' sounds like a curious term because the law does not seem to have any order.

The Supreme Court gets a 7-month itch

On September 30, the Allahabad High Court pronounced its threesome verdict about Babri-Masjid/Ayodhya ‘dispute’. Now, the Supreme Court has decided it is all wrong.

The 50-year legal battle for control of the 2.77 acres of Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid will start from scratch, with the Supreme Court on Monday faulting and staying the Allahabad High Court order dividing the temple-mosque complex among Ram Lalla (the idol of Lord Rama), Hindus and Muslims.
“How can decree for partition be passed as the HC has done? Something very strange has been done by the HC on its own when no party had sought such a relief.”

What was it doing all these months? It is rather strange that both the Hindus and Muslims are satisfied with the stay order. They need not be because one really does not know when our courts start contradicting each other. As regards the farce of the early judgment, we got there before the SC in Ayodhya: Where 1=2

A few points from my piece reiterated here again:

  1. My judiciary has instead taught me a new math. One is equal to two. The 2.77 acre land has been divided into three parts – one for the master, one for the slave and one for the little boy who cries down the lane.
  2.  Has the judiciary defined what exactly it means by the term ‘Hindus’ and ‘Muslims’?...
  3. This secular democratic republic has copped out under the weight of its own mythology and given a verdict where religion IS the state…
  4. This brings us to the third portion – the demolished mosque. It “belongs to Hindus”. Which Hindus? From an ancient era?

The court gets god

Back to the courts. This time to the Ahmedabad High Court. On May 1, Gujarat Day, the Governor and Chief Justice (CJ) of presided over the bhoomi pujan of a new building on the premises. Mumbai Mirror reported that Rajesh Solanki, who heads an Ambedkarite organisation called Council for Social Justice, wrote to the CJ and sent copies to the Union and State Home Secretaries. No one bothered, so he filed a PIL:

At the end of it, Justices Jayant Patel and J C Upadhyay called Solanki’s view ‘pervert’ [sic] and dismissed his petition with an ‘exemplary’ fine. Stating that the puja was for the successful completion of the proposed building, and for the larger interests of all those who would benefit from its construction, the order defined secularism as based on the principles of ‘Vasudev Kutumbakam’ (the world is one family). Differentiating between religion and ‘dharma’, the judges said dharma meant ‘sarva bhavantu sukinah’ (may everyone be happy).

Solanki took his plea to the Supreme Court, which dismissed it. He is persistent and says if it is about all religions then why are their rituals not included.

The CJ and Guv seeking 'happiness': captured by Solanki in a TV shot

Does the court have any right to call a person’s views perverted when he has said nothing of the nature? The bench should be sued for defamation.

I would like to ask a few further queries:

If constructed buildings benefit people, then what about those that are demolished or crash due to natural disasters? Since the Indian Constitution rules in law, what place do holy scriptures have? This ‘we are family’ cheesiness is best left for popcorn munching films or in social interactions. I find the distinction between religion and dharma rather facile. All religions in some form or the other wish everyone to be happy even if they kill each other in the name of some other happiness. Dharma is embedded within a certain religious idea and it is fair enough, but do not try and make a distinction to sneak out of a sense of responsibility.

I’d say this not only about Gujarat but any state in a non-theocratic country. You have absolutely no business to use government space to flash any kind of religious rituals. The true benefit of a new building would be better facilities for those who have to spend hours waiting for hearings and speedy justice delivered in a non-partisan fashion. This is what the courts are about. Please leave “I’m happy, you’re happy” to individuals.

The TOI pushes it

Is it proper for the Times of India to give its 'Times View' together with a report, as it has done in today’s edition in a piece on the Supreme Court and honour killings? Why are reports being editorialised? Although there is always a bias, this is just not done. There can be a separate editorial or opinion pieces, even if by the editor, and they already have a ‘pro’ and ‘con’ section. But to use a box item with a report goes against all journalistic ethics. There have been a few occasions when the Times View appeared on the front page, which is akin to shouting from the soap box.

What could be the compulsions behind pushing such ‘views’? Do they believe the readers are idiots and won’t know how to formulate their own opinions, if any, on the reports? Or is it insecurity? Or fake bravado – ‘See, we are standing up for the issue’? Spare us. We know what to look for where. And if you must show us how serious you are, then ask the hard questions and push the hard stories.

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