The high court here in an unprecedented judgment has ruled that godly sentiments and depositions made inside religious institutions are fine but courts are not below it. The court made the ruling while convicting a man in a contempt of court case.
Mohammad Shamim will be sentenced on July 10.
Shamim was accused of concealing a compromise reached in an eviction suit he filed against his brother after taking compensation and apparently wasting the courts time in proceeding with the case while he had spoken the truth at a mosque.
“Normally courts are lenient in contempt matters and give time to parties. But in this case, Shamim has committed contempt of court in the face of the court. He has also committed a greater sin by repeating his untruthful and false stand in the court on May 21, 2012, after speaking the truth in a mosque,” Justice Kailash Gambhir said.
When the two sides repeatedly shifted their stands on the status of the case, Judge Gambhir took an unusual step of sending both sides to a nearby mosque to swear upon the holy “Quran Sharif” and then take a “categorical position” with regard to their respective stands, so as to “ascertain the truth”.
Judge Gambhir said it was “lamentable” and “pricked the conscience of this court” that he differentiated between the court and the mosque as if god is present only in the mosque and not in courts.
“For those who do not wish to swear in the name of god, the oaths act provides for making an affirmation but it was shocking that Shamin took the oath in the name of God.”
“It is often said that courts are temple of justice and if that being the position how one can be untruthful before the temple of justice and be truthful standing at the place of worship,” asked the court.
The judge questioned the “audacity” of Shamim to deny the existence of a compromise and wondered if he had some vested interest.