|If the Hindu Endowment Act and the Waqf Board can handle temple or mosque properties, why can’t we have something similar for the church as well |
Joseph Pulikunnel, director, Indian Institute of Christian Studies.
Joseph Pulikunnel, Director,
Indian Institute of Christian Studies (IICS)
Hosanna Mount, Edamattam P.O.
Kottayam (Dist), Kerala State, Pin-686578
Dear and respected Leaders,
Many Christian organizations have come forward with a suggestion that a Christian may be nominated as the President of India for the next term. This suggestion cannot be treated as communal in nature. The constitution accepts that in India there is diverse religion, culture and language groups. This diversity has been the unique feature of India as a nation. So far the political parties have been very thoughtful and prudent in selecting persons to the top most position in India.
The Sikhs, Muslims, Hindus, Daliths had their innings in the Presidential chair, unfortunately Christians have been inadvertently side lined, not because there were no Christian who qualified for the position.
Now Shri A. K Antoy, a Christian holds a key position in the Central Government. He proved himself incorrupt and efficient.
I understand that Christian organizations from Tamil Nadu, Andra Pradesh, Chattisgarh and Kerala have suggested Justice K T Thomas, former judge of Supreme Court for this highest position.
I made a study of the career of Justice Thomas as a judge. Religions should not be the sole criteria for the selection to the high post.
Justice Y V Chndrachude former Chief Justice of India, and a colleague of Justice Thomas wrote about Justice Thomas as followsere there no arbitrations, I would never have met Mr. Justice K T Thomas. And had I not met Justice Thomas as co-arbitrator, I would have missed a precious experience. In Justice Thomas as an individual, I met a genial and genuine gentle man. And, in Justice Thomas as a co-arbitrator, I met a painstaking companion who took copious notes of arguments, cited Supreme Court judgments of the cuff and, placed justice on a pedestal higher than what the rigours of the letter of law demand.”
The CBI has published Justice Thomas’s judgment in their book for in house use of CBI. In the introduction of this book it is stated as follows “These judgments mark a significant shift in Criminal jurisprudence of our country; and such judgments have important and far reaching effect on the police investigation and trial of cases”
Mr. K T S Thulasi, the senior advocate of Supreme Court and former Solicitor general of India said
“Justice Thomas decided numerous cases full of controversy between the Centre and the States and between one Government and other. Yet not one of his judgments created controversy. They were universally accepted and respected. There was not one incident in his court which might have created any inconsistency between the popular Government and judicial supremacy. The power and the prestige of the Supreme Court rested safely in the hands of Justice Thomas. His contributions in the process of interpretations of criminal cases will continue to serve the nation for decades and centuries.”
Mr. Kapil Sibal then president of the Supreme Court Bar association and now member of the Union Cabinet composed a poem and presented the same by the Bar association.“Dear justice Thomas you have been known
To be a judge with a straight backbone
Some say you lacked the gentle touch
That hardened criminals like so much.
You set in motion, evolved a craft
To deal with those involved in graft
Occasionally some of us did feel
An over-abundance of judicial zeal
The loopholes of the law you plugged
Had many a politician bugged
Interpreted with judicial tack
The Prevention of Corruption Act
Many an accused you’d oft berate
Make them appear before the Magistrate
Surrender before you ask for bail
For sometime cool your heels in jail.
The High and Mighty clearly saw
That they were not above the law
Counsel in the midst of discourse
Were told the law must take its course
Prosecutions commenced without much ado
Allegations make be taken as true
The charge be framed as appeal shall lie
None has the right to question why?
For the lure of graft is unique indeed
Driven by avarice and greed
Be dealt with harshly in the strongest terms
In response to social concerns
Your conscience was your only guide
Your response, to the voice inside
Your pens command guided by god
Without fear or favour, ill-will or reward
You adorned the Bench, full of grace
Can someone fill up this Judicial Space?
You leave us in a blaze of glory
Others are bound to tell your story.”
Mr. Santhibhushan, one of the tallest doyens of Indian Bar told Mrs. Thomas on the farewell occasion of Justice Thomas from Supreme Court “I have been practicing here for more than three decades. Among many judges who were here, I regard your husband as one of the best. I noted four special features in him. First, his extremely polite manners, second- this high office did not get into his head, the third-his grip on criminal law was amazing and the last is that his integrity was not even doubted by any”
Mr. Fali S Nariman, President of the Bar Association of India wrote to Justice Thomas “I will hate to see you go, and you know why, the court will be much poorer for the loss of a fine upright judge with robust common sense”
The president of India is the symbol in International Forums. He should be capable of commanding respect from all sections of people in India as well as Nations. This quality alone should be the criteria of a person who is elevated to the highest post in India. Community and place of birth may be a contributing factor. But the most important quality should be, width of vision, respect for law, and prudent interpretation of the constitution with out fear or favor[I have written this small write up after reading an appeal by Joint Christian Action Council (JCAC)] Copy attached