Supreme Court judge Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul on Saturday said every society must have dissent and different points of view, but what is required is that the difference of views should be set forth in a respectful manner.
Speaking at a webinar on ‘Dissents that made a difference: India and Abroad’ organised by CAN Foundation, Justice Kaul said: “Every society must have dissent and different points of view. I think where there is debasement, is the manner of dissent. And, it is true of every field. Therefore, what is required is that difference of views should be set forth in a manner, which conveys the difference of opinion, but not making it shrill in stance.”
Justice Kaul said though we have lost respect for each other’s opinion in some way, which is necessary because there is no opinion which is right or wrong, and it is a question of time and of other aspects which are there. He added the odds today are that we are faced with a situation that a lot of matters which were never envisaged have come under the guise of PILs, which was an instrument to help the weaker sections of society.
“Now we are faced with political matters where a shrill kind of discourse takes place. But I do believe that we have a Constitution where an elected government is in power. Therefore, segregation of power requires the judiciary to perform a role and the executive to perform a role”, emphasised Justice Kaul.
He added there are constraints where certain jurisdiction has to be implemented because courts cannot be the government, instead they provide checks and balance. “They are inherently minority in character and the majority view is reflected by the government. So, this is a very delicate balance which the court is performing today. And, it does face criticism on this aspect, on how far should it go. There will be people who will say it has gone too far and there will be other people who will say it is not going far enough for the purpose”, said Justice Kaul.
He insisted that judging the dissent amongst people, judges etc should be treated as a constructive approach. “The judiciary has not been assigned the role to run the system, but for checks and balance on the system. Dissent has importance and it will continue to have importance in various fields including the judiciary”, he concluded.