New Delhi: Women should be respected and “one cannot bar them from entering temples”, reiterated former Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra, who headed the benches that delivered a series of landmark judgments on a slew of issues. Talking about the top court’s recent judgment, wherein it allowed the entry of women of all ages into the Sabarimala temple, Misra while speaking at an event on Friday stated, “We introduced the concept of constitutional morality and we have said that this morality is one which is evolved by the Constitution.” Also Read - 'Truth in The Darkest Hour': Mahua Moitra's Fiery Speech in Lok Sabha Courts Controversy | Watch Full Video
He also expressed happiness over a recent article which referred him as ‘warrior of gender justice‘, saying, “I am happy that I am described as warrior of gender justice. You cannot keep the women of a particular religion out of a temple. Women have to be respected and she is equal partner of a man in life.” Therefore, he added, “You cannot keep women away (from the temple)”. Also Read - We Don't Want Injuries or Blood on Our Hands: CJI on Farmers' Plea | 10 Key Takeaways
Justice Misra, who headed the bench which recommended that parliament enact law on lynching, questioned how a man or a group do moral policing and urged the society to “cultivate the idea of tolerance and respecting the views of others”. Also Read - CJI SA Bobde's Mother Duped of Rs 2.5 Crore, Accused Arrested in Nagpur
“How can a man do moral policing, we have a rule of law, we have a robust, independent judiciary and robust sense of rule of law… In lynching, an individual begins to harbour the attitude to take law into their hands, becoming law into themselves, it is in the backdrop of the idea of tolerance which we must cultivate. We must cultivate the idea of tolerance, the idea of acceptance , the idea of respecting others’ views, unless we do that we are violating the rule of law and Constitutional morality,” news agency PTI quoted Misra as saying.
Misra’s 13-month tumultuous tenure came to an end on October 1. He will be remembered in the Indian judicial history as perhaps the only head of the top court who saw rebellion by four of his senior most colleagues.
His term of 13 months and five days as the Chief Justice of India was perhaps the most turbulent for any Chief Justice, which saw his brother Judges and some from the Bar openly questioning his style of functioning in allocation of cases/matters to different benches and listing Constitution Bench matters before a bench of Judges who were relatively newcomers to the top court.
Another incident that stands out during his tenure is an unsuccessful impeachment motion against him in a move led by senior lawyer and Congress leader Kapil Sibal.
(With inputs from agencies)