NEW DELHI — Taking strong exception to the two-day Chief Justices conference being held on Good Friday, Supreme Court judge Justice Kurien Joseph has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him to show equal importance and respect to the sacred days of all religions.
"Your goodself would appreciate that no important programmes are held during sacred days of Diwali, Eid, Xmas etc, though we have holidays during that period as well," Justice Kurien wrote to Prime Minister Modi on April 1.
"Request you to have in mind these concerns while scheduling events and show equal importance and respect to sacred days of all religions," he added.
Justice Kurian had earlier last month written a letter to Chief Justice of India H.L. Dattu over the conference of Chief Justices of the High Courts being held on Good Friday.
Joseph wrote a letter to the CJI objecting to the holding of the conference of 24 high court chief justices from Good Friday to Easter Sunday.
"I may with deep anguish bring to your kind notice that such an important conference should not have been held when some of us, otherwise expected to be part of the event, or otherwise committed on account of the holy days when we have religious ceremonies and family get-together as well," he said in his letter to Dattu.
Maintaining that he was not striking a communal note, Justice Joseph said such serious programmes were not held during Diwali, Dussehra, Holi, Eid, etc. However, Justice Dattu hit back saying the question the justice had to ask himself, as he cannot ask the judge, is "whether it is institutional interest or individual interest that one should preference to".
Justice Dattu, in a letter to Justice Joseph, said assuming that religious ceremonies and family get-togethers were important, then he could asked his family to join him in Delhi.
"Several other participants are coming from distant places, leaving behind families," the CJI said. The CJI got support from a former apex court judge Justice K T Thomas asking why Christians cannot work on Good Friday.
"In America, where 98 per cent are Christians, Good Friday is a working day. Christians can attend Church service and go to work. But in India we are obsessed with holiday culture. I am totally opposed to this holiday mania that we suffer from," Justice Thomas said.