This Article is From Apr 05, 2015

Upset Supreme Court Judge Skips PM's Dinner Meet, Says 'Show Equal Importance and Respect to All Sacred Days'

Justice Joseph Kurian

New Delhi:

A Supreme Court judge, who had objected to a judges' conference being held on Good Friday, declined a dinner invitation from Prime Minister Narendra Modi for this evening, saying he will be in Kerala for religious ceremonies.

In his letter dated April 1, Justice Kurian Joseph sought to draw PM Modi's attention by saying, "no important programmes are held during sacred and auspicious days... though we have holidays during that period as well."

Justice Joseph further said that he will be away because "it is customary for us to be part of the religious and other ceremonies with the parents, elders and other family members during the holy weekend. Hence I would be away in Kerala during those days."

He urged the Prime Minister to give equal importance to all sacred days. Justice Joseph concluded his letter by saying, "I know it is too late to reschedule the events. I request your Honour to kindly have in mind these concerns also while scheduling events and benevolently show equal importance and respect to the sacred days of all religions which are also declared as National holidays."

Early last month, Justice Kurian Joseph had written to Chief Justice of India HL Dattu, objecting to the Conference of Chief Justices of High Courts being held on Good Friday.

In the letter dated March 8, he said, "I may with deep anguish bring to your kind notice that such an important conference shouldn't have been held when some of us, who are otherwise expected to be part of the event, are otherwise committed on account of the holy days when we have religious ceremonies."

Following the letter, Chief Justice of India Justice HL Dattu defended his decision in an open court saying, the institution comes first and earlier too the conference was held on holidays.

Several Supreme Court judges, who are away from Delhi, also skipped the Prime Minister's dinner.

Top three Supreme Court judges - including the Chief Justice of India - and 24 Chief Justices of High Courts from across the country attended a two-day conference in the capital which began yesterday, Good Friday. Other judges were not required to attend the conference.