Strange Ideas Of Justice Dave

Justice Markandey Katju
14 Oct 2016 6:01 AM GMT
Strange Ideas Of Justice Dave
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The ideas of Justice Anil Dave, the second senior most judge in the Supreme Court are, to say the least, strange.

Consider the following:

  1. He gave a public statement that the Gita should be made compulsory in all schools in India. Now the Gita is perceived by most Muslims and some other non Hindu communities as a Hindu religious book. How can it be forcibly taught to non Hindus in a secular country? And this statement is being made by a person who has taken an oath to uphold our secular Constitution !

  2. In para 11 of his recent judgment in Narendra vs. K.Meena he writes :
    “ In India, generally people do not subscribe to the western thought, where, upon getting married or attaining majority, the son gets separated from the family. In normal circumstances, a wife is expected to be with the family of the husband after the marriage. She becomes integral to and forms part of the family of the husband and normally without any justifiable strong reason, she would never insist that her husband should get separated from the family and live only with her ".

These are feudal ideas. In feudal society there were joint families, and on marriage a girl entered the house of her in laws. She was told by her mother at the time of getting married that now she is moving into another family, and must put up with whatever treatment she gets from her in laws. In other words, she must ' nibhao '

But now times have changed. Now many young women are highly educated, and are often holding high jobs. Many of them would like a home of their own, separate from that of their in laws, which they can furnish and decorate as they wish, and entertain people whom they want and at all hours. They may not have this freedom in their in laws' home. Also, a young woman may not be able to get on with her mother in law who may be of a dominating nature. Why should she be compelled to live under tension ?

To say that after getting married a young woman becomes an integral part of the family of her husband was no doubt the old, feudal idea. But it is not necessarily true in modern times. On marriage no doubt a woman becomes an integral part of the life of her husband. But why should she be compelled to become an integral part of the family of her husband also ?

  1. In the dahi handi case, a bench headed by Justice Dave held that no dahi handi can be more than 20 feet tall, and no one below 18 can participate in it. But where is the statute with these requirements ? Judges cannot legislate, as has repeatedly been held by the Supreme Court (see my report to the BCCI). There is broad separation of powers in our Constitution, and it is for the legislature, not the judiciary, to make laws.

Justice Katju is a former Judge of Supreme Court of India.

This article has been made possible because of financial support from Independent and Public-Spirited Media Foundation.

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