Tribune News Service
New Delhi, November 15
The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed the Enforcement Directorate’s petition challenging a Delhi High Court order granting bail to Karnataka Congress leader DK Shivakumar in a money laundering case.
“The petition seems to be cut, copy and paste from the petition against P Chidambaram. Shivakumar is referred to as the former home minister. This is not the way to treat a citizen”, a Bench headed by Justice Rohinton Nariman said.
“This is not the way people of the country should be treated. Mr Mehta, you should read the dissent in Sabarimala review. It’s extremely important...it’s for people like you to educate and instruct the officials that our judgments are not to be played with,” Justice Nariman told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta who represented the ED.
The Delhi High Court had last month granted bail to Shivakumar who is also facing charges under the Income Tax Act.
The Bench issued notice on Shivakumar’s petition seeking quashing of charges against him levelled by the Income Tax Department.
As the Supreme Court referred the issue of discriminatory religious practices to a seven-judge Bench on Wednesday, the minority verdict delivered by Justice Rohinton F Nariman and Justice DY Chandrachud frowned upon attempts to thwart its 2018 order allowing entry of women of all age groups into the Sabarimala temple in Kerala.
“Bona fide criticism of a judgment, albeit of the highest court of the land, is certainly permissible, but thwarting, or encouraging persons to thwart, the directions or orders of the highest court cannot be countenanced in our Constitutional scheme of things,” Justice Nariman, writing the minority verdict for himself and Justice Chandrachud, said on Wednesday.
“After all, in India’s tryst with destiny, we have chosen to be wedded to the rule of law as laid down by the Constitution of India. Let every person remember that the “holy book” is the Constitution of India, and it is with this book in hand that the citizens of India march together as a nation, so that they may move forward in all spheres of human endeavour to achieve the great goals set out by this “Magna Carta” or Great Charter of India,” the two judges said.
“The Constitution places a non-negotiable obligation on all authorities to enforce the judgments of this court. The duty to do so arises because it is necessary to preserve the rule of law. If those whose duty it is to comply were to have discretion on whether or not to abide by a decision of the court, the rule of law would be set at naught,” the minority verdict cautioned.
“Compliance is not a matter of option. If it were to be so, the authority of the court could be diluted at the option of those who are bound to comply with its verdicts,” read the minority verdict.
“Organised acts of resistance to thwart the implementation of this judgment must be put down firmly,” Justice Nariman said regretting his inability to agree with the majority verdict delivered by CJI Ranjan Gogoi, Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice Indu Malhotra.
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