Justice Rohinton F Nariman of the Supreme Court on Friday told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that the top court’s judgements were not to be “played with” and the government should read his dissenting view in the Sabarimala case, Bar and Bench reported.
Nariman made the remark while dismissing the Enforcement Directorate’s petition against the bail granted to Congress leader DK Shivakumar by the Delhi High Court in a money laundering case on October 23. Justice S Ravindra Bhat was also on the bench.
On Thursday, a five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court had ruled, in a 3:2 verdict, that a larger bench should again consider the matter of the entry of women of all ages into Kerala’s Sabarimala temple. The court had taken the decision after reviewing a number of petitions filed against its September 2018 verdict that allowed women of all ages to enter the Hindu shrine. Nariman was one of the two dissenting judges, the other being Justice DY Chandrachud.
On Friday, Mehta was arguing for the Enforcement Directorate to get Shivakumar’s bail revoked. However, after Mehta kept asking the court to consider the plea even after the judges seemed uninterested, Nariman told him: “This is not the way people of the country should be treated, Mr Mehta. You should read the dissent in the Sabarimala review...It is for people like you to educate and instruct the officials that our judgments are not to be played with.”
Mehta said he had read the judgment. “I request your lordship to remove the idea that we don’t respect the orders of the court,” he said, to which Nariman said such an impression was stuck in the judges’ mind and is “irremovable”, Bar and Bench reported.
In their dissenting view in the Sabarimala judgement, Nariman had criticised the violent agitations that broke out in Kerala last year after the court’s verdict. “Compliance with Supreme Court judgements is not optional,” said Justices Chandrachud and Nariman, according to Bar and Bench. Bonafide criticism of Supreme Court judgements is permissible, but organised efforts to subvert the judgement cannot be allowed, they said.