On Janmashtami, CJI refers to Krishna, Mahabharata during case hearing
The Krishna Janmashtami fervor seemed to have taken over the Supreme Court on Tuesday as the Chief Justice of India SA Bobde made reference to Lord Krishna and the Mahabharata in two separate cases.
"Today Krishna was born in jail right? You want bail or to be in jail?" asked CJI Bobde while hearing a bail plea.
The birth of Lord Krishna, or Janmashtami, was celebrated on the intervening night of Tuesday and Wednesday (August 11 and 12) as it is believed that Lord Krishna was born at midnight in jail.
"You want to leave jail? Lord Krishna was born in jail.." asked the CJI.
Petitioners Lawyer replied, "Yes My Lord. We want bail."
To this, CJI said, "Good.. religion is not something you are attached to in extremity"
The matter pertained to a bail plea filed by Dharmendra Valvi, a Congress I party member, and five other party workers, who were convicted for the alleged murder of a BJP worker in 1994.
Their conviction and life imprisonment were upheld by the Bombay high court in September 2017. The appeal against the high court verdict is pending before the Supreme Court since 2018. Valvi was granted bail by the Apex court after this brief exchange.
In another case, the CJI referenced the Mahabharata.
While directing the Allahabad High court to expedite hearing on the plea challenging the detention of Dr Kafeel Khan in a case arising out of the anti-CAA protests, senior advocate Indira Jaising questioned whether the appearance of Dr Khan in court via video-conferencing would count as "personal appearance".
"We have had virtual hearings since Mahabharata times.." said the CJI in response, to Jaising's confusion.
"In the Mahabharata, it was all 'Sanjaya Uvacha'. No problem if appearance is not physical appearance..." commented the CJI.
Bobde was referring to Sanjaya who was a visionary narrator to the blind king Dhritrashtra during the Maharbharata.