If a “juridical person” decides to limit his own access to persons who might naturally disturb his or her celibacy by their presence, it is the prerogative of the legal right of the person.
It is an established principle of law that Hindu deities are “juridical persons” and any juridical person also has a juridical personality that arises from both the established customs and the law. If that personality involves celibacy, any move to disturb that is tantamount to violation of the right that the person enjoys. In the case of a disturbance to celibacy, it would arguably be a sexual offense that can be categorized under various laws appropriately pertaining to it.
The Hon’ble Court should see through the mischief of the petitioners and make punitive awards so that such incidents are not encouraged to repeat itself.
Obviously, nobody including the Hon’ble Apex Court can be a party to such a crime by aiding and abetting it. The counsel for one of the defendants, in this case, has rightly pointed out that it will indeed be a violation of the celibacy of the deity who is held to be a “Naishtika Brahmachari”. Nobody has a right to sexual harassment. So the fundamental question that should be dealt with first is if there is a prima facie case to be answered.
The petitioner’s case thus being outrageous and insulting to both the spirit and letter of the constitution and the touchstone of natural justice is an abuse of the process of the court. The Hon’ble Court should see through the mischief of the petitioners and make punitive awards so that such incidents that affect the majesty of law are not encouraged to repeat itself.
On the comparison with mosques, which seems to have been acknowledged by the Hon’ble Court, this is not a blanket ban on all women but a provision that protects the right of the “juridical person” from being harassed. If such person decides to limit his own access to persons who might naturally disturb his or her celibacy by their presence at certain times and/or at all times, it is the prerogative of the legal right of the person, natural or juridical.
Such a right, especially one that is inalienable to the personality (and perhaps the very existence of the “person”), if violated will effectively extinguish the existence of that personality and in corollary the person itself. Such extinction does not appear to be permitted either in the constitutionally approved law or in the scheme of natural justice, let alone the traditions and customs concerned.
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.