Chief Justice of India H L Dattu asserted on Monday that the three-day judges’ conference would begin on April 3 — Good Friday — as scheduled, pointing out that it was held on national holidays in the past too.
The issue was raised by advocate Lily Thomas before the CJI’s court. “It is an important day for Christians… it is of great spiritual significance and has been declared a national holiday too,” she said.
Thomas added that Good Friday was not only a religious holiday, but also a spiritual holiday because it was “deliverance day” for mankind.
The CJI pointed out that the judges’ conference was held on Valmiki Day in 2004, on Good Friday in 2007 and on Independence Day in 2009. “Nobody had any grievances then. What happened to spirituality back then? Is it because I am the CJI that you are opposing it now?” he asked.
“If the conference is held on working days, it will be a waste of court’s time. The purpose of holding this conference is that the work at high courts across the country is not affected… 24 high court chief justices would be attending this conference after all,” he said, adding that there has never been any objection to holding the conference on holidays in the past.
“If you want to oppose it, please file a petition and the court will take a decision on the judicial side,” the CJI told Thomas.
While a section of lawyers had claimed that holding the conference on Good Friday was akin to the central government deciding to observe “good governnance day” on Christmas Day, it is not clear if any chief justice has raised any objection.