There’s a limit on targeting judges, give us a break: Justice Chandrachud

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Supreme Court Justice D.Y. Chandrachud on Thursday expressed anguish over personal attacks by online portals against judges.

A lawyer mentioned a matter in connection with violence against the Christian community before a bench headed by Justice Chandrachud.

The lawyer urged the top court to urgently list the matter.

Justice Chandrachud said he had come across some news reports saying that the apex court is delaying the hearing on the matter and added since he had Covid, the matter could not be taken up for hearing.

“I was down with Covid, so the matter could not be taken up. Recently read a news article saying the Supreme Court is delaying the hearing in the matter… Give us a break!”

“There’s a limit to how much you can target judges…. Who is publishing such news?” he asked.

The bench, also comprising Justice Surya Kant, agreed to list the case for hearing.

“Alright, list it,” said the bench.

On June 27, the Supreme Court had agreed to examine a plea alleging increase in attacks on Christian institutions and priests across the country.

Senior advocate Colin Gonsalves mentioned the matter before a vacation bench comprising Justices Surya Kant and J.B. Pardiwala and sought an urgent listing of the matter.

Gonsalves submitted that on an average between 40 to 50 violent attacks occurred against Christian institutions and priests every month across the country, as he pressed on the implementation of guidelines which were issued by the top court in a 2018 judgment to curb hate crimes.

He emphasised that in May this year, more than 50 cases of violent attacks took place.

The advocate sought the implementation of the guidelines issued in the Tehseen Poonawala judgment (2018) and cited that in the judgment, a direction was passed for the appointment of nodal officers, who were to take note of hate crimes and register FIRs across the nation.

Archbishop Of Bangalore Diocese Dr. Peter Machado along with the National Solidarity Forum, the Evangelical Fellowship of India moved the plea before the top court.

In the 2018 judgment, the top court had said hate crimes, cow vigilantism and lynching incidents should be nipped in the bud.

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