All forms of authority under challenge, says Justice Bobde

October 31, 2019 12:00 am | Updated 05:03 am IST - NEW DELHI

‘Personal attacks on judges uncalled for and destructive’

New innings:Every religion has beliefs not supported by reason, says Justice S.A. Bobde.Shiv Kumar PushpakarThe Hindu

New innings:Every religion has beliefs not supported by reason, says Justice S.A. Bobde.Shiv Kumar PushpakarThe Hindu

Chief Justice of India-designate, Justice S.A. Bobde, said every religion has beliefs not supported by reason.

“Every religion has its own practices which are a mystery. There are beliefs not supported by reason. Look at the very act of praying... every religion has its own way of praying and conditions for offering prayers,” Justice Bobde told The Hindu on Wednesday.

Justice Bobde, who would be sworn in as the 47th Chief Justice of India on November 18, believes we live in an age where authority itself, be it of parents or Parliament, is under challenge.

He was responding to a question whether the authority of the judiciary is under “attack” from social media and online articles; and whether they have exceeded the reasonable limits of free speech.

“It is not just the judiciary... What is happening in society? There is challenge to the authority of parents, schools, Parliament. This is the age of challenging authority,” he said. “Personal attacks on judges are uncalled for and destructive,” he said.

He said there is “excellent communication” between the Supreme Court and the government. “Now, it is as good as it gets.”

On delays in governmental clearance of SC Collegium recommendations, he said “machineries operate at their own speed.”

On more and more matters of faith coming to the court as PIL pleas under Article 32, Justice Bobde said people approach the apex court to exercise their right to freedom of religion.

Asked if the Supreme Court was the right forum to examine the battle between basic rights and religious tradition, Justice Bobde said, “The perception (in cases concerning matters of faith) is that the fundamental rights have been breached. Obviously, the Supreme Court is the right forum.”

Balance struck

He said legislature and courts have intervened in the past to abolish religious practices which are a crime under the law. The legislature and courts have struck a balance in the past.

“For instance, if you sacrifice somebody, then it is murder. That is how Sati was abolished. It was murder under the law,” Justice Bobde said.

Asked whether the government should play more of a role in the appointment process of judges, he said, “The Supreme Court has said what it wants to say in the NJAC judgment.”

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