Ayodhya judgment paved way for claims on Gyanvapi, other mosques: Ex-SC judge

Justice Gowda spoke about various topics such as the recent judgement on demonetisation, COVID-19 lockdown management, EWS (sconomic weaker section) reservation, free media etc.

The former Supreme Court judge Justice V Gopal Gowda disapproved the apex court’s 2019 order on Ayodhya’s Babri Masjid-Ram Mandir issue.

According to a report by Bar and Bench, Gowda stressed that the judgement opened gates for right-wing elements to lay claims over various mosques as theirs, the recent being the Gyanvapi mosque, adjacent to Kashi Vishwanath in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.

“The Ayodhya judgement has made right-reactionary forces claim Gyanvapi and other mosques in the country. This is a great threat to the Republic of India,” he said on Saturday at a national convention on the topic Save Constitution, Save Democracy organised by the All India Lawyers Union, the Delhi Union of Journalists, and the Democratic Teachers Front.

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He said that the pillars of democracy are being taken over by Hindutva elements turning the country into a fascist one.

“Liberty, equality and fraternity is the trinity the Indian Constitution guarantees. Now, these are endangered because of reactionary elements and the State transforming into a fascist Hindu one. Such forces are taking over all pillars. For example, the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) denies equal citizenship; it is] against secularism, which is the bedrock of our democracy,” Justice Gowda said.

Apart from this, Justice Gowda spoke about various other topics such as the recent judgement on demonetisation, COVID-19 lockdown management, EWS (sconomic weaker section) reservation, free media etc.

On demonetisation, Justice Gowda praised Justice B V Nagarathna’s dissent towards the Narendra Modi-led government’s policy. “There was only one lone judge who had the courage and conviction to uphold constitutional democracy, which automatically highlights the process was not followed,” Gowda said.

Gowda also spoke about the mismanagement of COVID-19 pandemic in the first wave which left many, especially from the economically backward classes stranded on the roads with no food and water. He further added the macro, small and medium enterprises were affected a lot.

On central agencies such as the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) and the Election Commission of India (ECI), Gowda expressed his disappointment as how they have become government’s puppets.

“Election Commission is another Constitutional body that seems to have buckled under executive pressure. Once was during 2017 Gujarat poll announcement, another was arbitrary disqualification of Aam Aadmi Party MLAs, which the Supreme Court later castigated it for,” the former judge said.

On freedom of press, Gowda said that it is sad to hear journalists critical of the government either been put behind bars on false cases or killed.

“For Kappan, when he moved the Supreme Court, he was asked to go back to High Court. Ultimately, he got bail but was detained for more than two years for no fault of his. For two years, a person, a journalist who went to report on the rape and murder of a Dalit, was detained,” he said.

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