INDIA – Supreme Court judge Justice Kurian Joseph said his written objection to the Chief Justice of India holding the Chief Justices’ Conference over the Good Friday weekend was an expression of his anguish at the way “secularism is being tinkered with.” PakistanTribe.com learnt from TheHindu.
“This is my pain, anguish and concern about the way secularism is being tinkered with. Secularism practised in India is unique in the world. A constitutional institution like the judiciary, expected to protect secular ethos, cannot even remotely give any message otherwise,” Justice Joseph told The Hindu on the phone on Saturday from Kerala where he has gone to attend Easter services.
The former Chief Justice of India V.N. Khare told The Hindu that Justice Joseph’s position reflected the apprehensions of religious minorities. “The whole incident is very unfortunate. I see it in a broader perspective … and the broader perspective is that his letters be seen in the context of the fears felt by the religious minorities,” he said.
Through another letter, Justice Joseph declined Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s invitation to a dinner on Saturday for the judges attending the conference. He requested the Prime Minister to “benevolently show equal importance and respect to the sacred days of all religions which are also declared as national holidays” while scheduling events.
“Our religious and cultural festivals and hues, irrespective of caste and creed, have contributed to the vibrancy of our rich pluralistic culture and ethos,” Justice Joseph wrote to the Prime Minister.
Chief Justice H.L. Dattu refused to comment on the letter.
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