It is every now and again said that the Supreme Court is last yet not reliable. Regardless, logically, the two disputants and judges themselves appear, apparently, to veer around to the view that the Supreme Court is neither last nor reliable. It is one thing for a disillusioned litigant who feels hard done by to demand a review of a judgment. It is, be that as it may, a completely extraordinary matter when the actual court seems to energize such training. By neither tolerating nor excusing the audit request recorded in the Sabarimala question, the Supreme Court appears to have done exactly that.
The Supreme Court's decision eliminating age limitations on passage of ladies to the acclaimed Lord Ayyappa Temple at Sabarimala in Kerala has uncovered the restrictions of legal mediations dependent on established profound quality in managing apparent prejudicial strict practices. The decision — which has caused some serious problems of furious ladies aficionados — features the inadequacies of the "fundamental practices" test applied to deny a strict category status to Sabarimala Temple and Lord Ayyappa's enthusiasts. Pretty much every town in India has an alternate strict practices and applying a straight-jacketed "fundamental practices" test can annihilate strict variety and pluralism rehearsed since days of yore in Hinduism — once portrayed by the SC as a lifestyle.
The decision by previous CJI Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar, RF Nariman and DY Chandrachud brings up certain principal issues about connection between the State and religion in a sacred majority rules system which ensures a bunch of key right to each resident — the most significant of all being more right than wrong to life, right to balance and right to religion. As a foundation, religion has existed for centuries and pre-dates the advanced Indian State — a protected element which is under seventy years old. India has supported different and surprisingly outrageous strict practices. There are a few sanctuaries where men are not permitted. Indians love Lingam and Yoni, creatures, waterways, trees, plants and so forth. It's not for the State or its instrumentalities to apply judicious measuring sticks and judge the legitimacy of such practices except if it borders culpability. "... the court can't force its profound quality or discernment as for the type of love of a divinity. Doing so would refute the opportunity to rehearse one's religion as indicated by one's confidence. It would add up to excusing religion, confidence and convictions, which is outside the ken of court," noted Justice Indu Malhotra in her disagreeing decision.
Dissimilar to in Europe, where religion had set up a bad habit like hold over the State, in India it was considerably more kind and didn't upset the State. It's somewhat weird that while in Europe, the way toward isolating religion from the State brought forth secularism; a mainstream State like India has been occupied with controlling strict organizations and revising strict practices. This isn't to recommend that the State can't intercede in issue identifying with religion. Article 25 — which ensures basic right to religion — approves the State to make laws to control monetary, monetary, political or other common action related with strict practices. Article 26 is pointed toward guaranteeing strict variety and pluralism.
Article 25 and Article 26 together address a common agreement among religion and the State and draw a 'Lakshmana Rekha'. The decision gives off an impression of being a casualty of social sensitivity and an endeavor to secularize Hinduism as it over-extends the ideas of uniformity and segregation. There is much that is legally incorrect about this judgment. The court has used a formulaic understanding of what is a religious denomination to exclude the worshippers of Ayyappa.
This has the effect of denuding several religious groups, particularly the astoundingly diverse faiths within the larger umbrella of Hinduism, of their identity as a denomination in law. Further, it has simplistically assumed that every person has a right to pray at a temple of their choice. While this may seem intuitive, it is overbroad. What the Constitution gives every person is the freedom to pray as one chooses. The moment the expression of such prayer is at a temple or any particular site of public worship, such expression is subject to the rules of that site. So, a Hindu man cannot simply claim that he has a right to enter a Parsi fire temple. Likewise, a Christian man cannot have a right to pray at a mosque. No such freedom exists in the Constitution. But these alleged errors that the judgment falls into are not questions of fact — they are questions of interpretation. Contrary to popular perception, law, particularly constitutional law, does not work in absolute binaries of black and white, right and wrong. The use of language in the Constitution, as in life, is always open to interpretation. Judges dealing with legal text are like ordinary persons dealing with a work of fiction. Two readers can understand the same sentence differently, ascribe meanings that may not occur to another, imagine possibilities that may not exist.
While judges are duty-bound to accord the text an interpretation that is both logically sound and capable of resolving the dispute before them, any expectation that they have reached the right answer is misplaced. There is always a possibility in law that a different answer may be reached on equally sound reasoning.This is precisely why no review of a judgment of the Supreme Court is possible on the ground that a different view could have been taken. The conceptual question here is this — how does the court balance the interests of justice in reaching a fair resolution and finality in putting an end to a dispute expeditiously? On the one hand, it is the raison d’être of the judicial system to do justice. On the other, such quest for justice cannot be pursued endlessly. The pragmatic closure rule that is applied is that the chance to do justice extends from the lower courts through appeals and writ petitions up to the Supreme Court. Three chances, at the lower courts, the High Court and the Supreme Court are deemed sufficient to give justice full sway while accounting for the need for closure.The review jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, and the curative jurisdiction that can be exercised to review a judgment in review, are narrow exceptions favouring justice over finality. They are not invitations to re-litigate the dispute. It is inherent in their nature for their exercise to be severely circumscribed. Key grounds for review include an error apparent on the face of the record and the availability of new material subsequent to the judgment.
This is why, in spite of the judgment in the Sabarimala case being arguably wrong, the court ought not to have given litigants another day in court. Legally, neither is the wrongness of the judgment an apparent error, nor are the subsequent law and order transgressions in Kerala new material that the court should consider in its judgment. The cost of such a review, while not apparent are tremendous — creating a culture of litigation where parties are incentivized to keep litigating rather than accepting their lot, building up judicial backlog that makes justice for the deserving litigant slow and expensive and ultimately reducing the sanctity of a judgment of the Supreme Court. It is hugely detrimental for the majesty of the Supreme Court if its judgments, right or wrong, are never considered fully final. The court, in fairness to it, has not accepted the review. It has kept it pending, to be heard alongside three similar questions of women’s entry into the dargah (prohibited by Islam), a Parsi woman praying at a fire temple after marrying a non-Parsi (prohibited by Zoroastrianism) and female genital mutilation of girl children (sanctioned by the Dawoodi Bohra community). Each of these cases raises complex questions of law and faith.
The court is right that the decision in the Sabarimala dispute will have a bearing on these cases. This is precisely how the judicial system of precedents is meant to function. The court, in a future case, has to independently come to an assessment that the Sabarimala judgment is wrong and should not function as a precedent. Without doing so, to club these cases to evolve a ‘judicial policy’ in this regard turns the system of precedent on its head. Laying down judicial policy in one case is alien to judicial decision-making — policy, if it means anything in the legal system, is the product of judges over decades applying the law dispassionately to the facts before them. It might be a bit presumptuous for any one bench to see their task as laying down policy for all times to come. By neither accepting nor dismissing the review and clubbing it with other questions before it, the court has given credence to the dangerous narrative that judgments of the court are never quite final, that one can always take a chance with the court. This might have been a practical response to the criticism that the Sabarimala judgment originally received. But it risks opening the court up in ways that it cannot imagine today. The decision by some of the Muslim parties in the Ayodhya title dispute to ask for a review of the judgment of the court is a warning sign of things to come.
A huge number of individuals are out dissenting, with Hindu ladies driving the charge against what is seen as harsh impedance in their confidence and customs. Along these lines, to generally sitting a good ways off from Ayyappa and Sabarimala, its customs are being seen through the limited crystal of ladies' segregation. Indeed, banters on trust versus Constitution are unavoidable. In any event, provoking religions to change occasionally will and should emerge. We have seen that in Triple Talaq and ladies' entrance into mosques. The characteristic inquiry is the reason not here? The right to religion and right to non-segregation are both endorsed in the Constitution. My political convictions are solidly grounded in a dream of value for ladies and all Indians. Things being what they are, the reason am I contradicting this? The appropriate response is straightforward – this isn't about separation by any stretch of the imagination. This is about confidence of the two ladies and men who love Lord Ayyappa. And keeping in mind that the discussion is gladly received, we should be cautious and do investigate prior to swimming into it. To begin, most Hindu customs rehearsed in most Hindu sanctuaries are not archived. In contrast to Islam and Christianity, which are later religions and in this way more arranged, Hindu customs have been sent more than millennia by prattle and informal.
Making things considerably more convoluted is the way that every Hindu god has their one of a kind practices and customs. What's more, not normal for Christianity and Islam where spots of love are essentially places of supplication; Hindu sanctuaries are residences of that god. So a Muslim goes to a mosque to implore, however in Hinduism, the divine beings are accepted to live in the sanctuary. This is a principal distinction between a Hindu spot of love and others. There are numerous sanctuaries that confine men's affirmation intermittently and permit just ladies to ask in view of the customs related with that specific god. To lessen the deep rooted Sabarimala custom to one that is male centric or victimizes ladies isn't right, tragic and perilous. It will be viewed as and is being viewed as an attack on Hindu Dharma by lakhs of fans. That is the reason the new the Supreme Court choice is missing on such countless checks. The actual judgment was plainly rushed and appeared to be more similar to driven by famous Delhi feeling than a vigorous reflection of the issue. It appears to have been worked around a target of making a bogus comparability between its Triple Talaq judgment for Muslims and this for Hindus.
The PIL was recorded by a gathering that unmistakably didn't include the influenced parties – they were not Ayyappa lovers, but rather a gathering of attorneys with supposed Leftist connections. The public authority of Kerala and the Devaswom board who were respondents were politically dedicated to supporting the solicitors, thus nearly didn't guard Sabarimala's customs in court. Furthermore, the individuals who did attempt to ensure the Sabarimala custom and confidence – the Hindu enthusiast intervenors – tracked down that the issues brought up in their petitions were not reacted to by the SC lion's share judgment by any means. Equity Indu Malhotra's disagreeing judgment was directly in forewarning against this sort of beast power swimming into Hindu custom. The outrage and trouble among Kerala Hindus cutting across ranks is profound established and genuine. There is an inclination that their practice and confidence are being played with by the individuals who don't have any stake in it or haven't put forth the attempt to get it. The individuals who overlook this are committing an inexcusable and risky error. The Left government with its legislative issues of partitioning and mollifying ceaselessly is a lot to be censured for the current circumstance. I trust the central clergyman makes the best decision, and guarantees a legal survey of this judgment. By permitting non-invested individuals to record PILs on trust and religion, the previous Chief Justice has perilously failed. In the event that Muslim ladies request the court for sacred right of non-separation, the court should go into it. Also, assuming ladies Ayyappa bhakts requested of the court, it ought to have investigated it.
AUTHOR- AMBIKA PORWAL
Bio- BALLB (1st year), LLOYD LAW COLLEGE, GREATER NOIDA