Parasaran cited judgments highlighting the importance of God, before propounding Hindu religion’s ‘tolerance and non-discriminatory’ nature. He then advanced arguments pertaining to the celibate character of the deity of the temple, Lord Ayyapa, claiming that it enjoys constitutional protection.
The letter came in the wake of the recent Supreme Court judgment wherein the Court heavily condemned such “horrendous acts of mobocracy” and issued directions to the State and Central government to undertake preventive, remedial and punitive measures for the same.
While Justice Nariman invoked constitutional morality, Devaswom Board counsel AM Singhvi said its application to religious cases would open a Pandora’s box. Singhvi also argued that Ayyapa devotees constituted a separate religious denomination within the Hindu religion.
The bench of Justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan stressed the importance of ‘direct participation in public affairs where individuals and groups are able to express dissent and grievances, expose the flaws in governance and demand accountability’, especially in the Indian context to aid ‘the assertion of the rights of the marginalised and poorly represented minorities’.
The Collegium resolution states that it had ‘carefully considered the observations made by the Law Minister in his letters’ sent to the CJI in April 2018 to reconsider its recommendation for elevation, stating that ‘nothing adverse regarding suitability of KM Joseph was pointed out in the aforementioned letters’.
The Bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Uday Umesh Lalit referred to the recommendations made by the Committee headed by Justice AS Qureshi which suggested the reserving beds for the provision of free treatment to the people from the economically weaker sections of the society in the private hospitals that were allotted land on concessional rates in Delhi.
Jaising submitted that the ban on women's entry inside the temple is based upon sex alone, and the discrimination is solely based off physiological factors. She further argued that menstruating women being categorised as a different class is unconstitutional as it lacks constitutional morality.
Jaising emphasises on harmonious interpretation of constitutional provisions, that is, Articles 14, 15, 25 and 26 of the Constitution and stated that the right to manage the affairs in the matter of religion does not encompass the right to ban entry inside a temple.
The CJI bench highlighted the threat posed by ‘frenzied mobs across the country instigated by intolerance and misinformed by circulation of fake news and false stories’, while chastising aggravating phenomena such as ‘bystander apathy, numbness of the mute spectators of the scene of the crime, inertia of the law enforcing machinery to prevent such crimes … and grandstanding of the incident by the perpetrators of the crimes including in the social media’.