Readers can also see the biodata of the Hon. Justices at the above links.
This is in continuation of my post No. 010 at this blog: http://indianlawyb.blogspot.in/search/label/010
Hon. Justice Joseph expressed his inability to attend a dinner-cum-Conference of CMs and Justices hosted by Prime Minister of India, as it was held on Easter Day.
Justice Joseph has also raised some pertinent questions about future of Secularism in India, and also the particular act of holding the Conference on a day of Religious Importance.
"...I may with deep anguish bring to your kind notice that such an important conference shouldn't have been held when some of us, who are otherwise expected to be part of the event, are otherwise committed on account of the holy days when we have religious ceremonies and family get- together as well..."
"...Such "serious programmes" were not held during Diwali, Dussehra, Holi, Eid etc. .."
"...Please don't think that I am striking a communal note. Only since I see institution like ours, which are otherwise bound to protect the secular ethos and project secular image as per mandate of Constitution, are slowly drifting away from the constitutional obligations, I thought of putting this concern in writing,..."
Hon. Justice Dattu is reported to have replied:
"...has been questioned on the ground of inappropriate time, i.e. during 'holy and national holidays' and is being questioned by none other than my brother judge... "
"...More important than anything else is the agenda to be discussed at the conference, ranging from judicial reforms, computerization of courts and reduction of backlog among other issues. "
"...The CJI and his two senior most colleagues and Chief Justices of HCs will be free from regular court work and be able to contribute to the cause of judiciary..."
"...The question that I have to ask myself, perhaps I can't ask you, is whether it is institutional interest or individual interest that one should give preference to. As far as I am concerned I would give priority to former and not to the latter..."
"Assuming that religious ceremonies and family get together are more important than institutional interest, you could have asked your family to join you in Delhi. By doing that you could have struck balance between the institutional interest and family commitments. ... Several other participants are coming from distant places, leaving behind families..."
"...We would have valued institutional interest more than family commitments, especially when fingers are being raised about the judiciary at all levels..."
More observations of Justice Dattu, in a similar instance of objection raised by an advocate Lily Thomas, as reported in the Media, when a similar Conference was held in 2009 on a Good Friday:
"... In 2007, the chief justices' conference was held on Valmiki Day, ..."
"...In 2007 and 2009, nobody had any grievance. Is it because I am CJI (chief justice of India)? What happened to spirituality back then? If you want to oppose it, please file a petition and let the court take a decision, ..."
Humble views of ybrao-a-donkey
We shall respect every word said by the Respectable CJI. Let us accept for the time being that Justice has been done. But, can we say that Justice appears to have been done?
Since 1984, we seem to have been working in a religiously charged atmosphere and environment. Citizens, irrespective of their designations and occupations have started viewing things from the point of view of religion.
It may also be necessary, in National interest, to work even on all types of holidays, religious or otherwise.
Both in Private and Sector, employees and executives have in fact, started working on such religious and non-religious holidays informally.
In my own personal case as an Officer of a Public Sector Bank, at least for 25 years, I worked on many Sundays, Non-Religious Holidays, and Religious Holidays, because work was too heavy and pressing. To maintain efficiency, keep up promises to customers and superiors, safeguard the interests of the bank (and also safeguard one's own job simultaneously), such formal and informal work on holidays became inevitable.
This dedicated and flexible approach directed towards achievement of goals and objectives has to be started
2. it should have been started by working on major holidays like Diwali which will affect most of the persons attending the Conferences. Then, the CJI should have gauged the reactions of the bulk of the participants, instead of one individual Justice or Advocate, which the CJI could easily brush aside by preaching.
3. "No compulsion / obligation to attend on the holiday" ought to have been communicated to the participants (except the top three Senior Supreme Court Judges whose presence was considered essential. Abstaini8ng participants could also have been promised/ provided with videos / minutes of the Conferences, as may be necessary.
(To continue and revise depending on the sensibilities of the Readers and Receivers of this message).