"Why are we told time and again by the government that it is not taking a confrontationist attitude? Who is taking a confrontationist attitude?" a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice R C Lahoti asked Attorney General Milan Banerjee during a hearing of a petition seeking Scheduled Caste status to Dalit Christians.
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The court said that what the seven-judge bench ruled was a reiteration of the eleven-judge bench judgement and the five-judge bench judgement thereafter. "If this is the attitude of the government to go after a judgement without understanding it, then wind up the courts and do whatever you want," the chief justice said.
When the Attorney General and Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam said that they respect the courts, the bench said, "Should you not tell your clients to give the respect the court's deserve?" The bench said if this is the attitude of the government towards the court, then "we will go on doing our duty and let them do theirs".
The court said both the eleven-judge and five-judge bench judgements followed by the seven-judge bench judgement told the government to come out with a legislation. "You are talking about confrontation," the bench asked, indicating the government had failed to understand the seven-judge bench judgement.
The court, taking exception to the tenor of the statements emerging out of the covernment on the seven-judge bench judgement, said, "You must advise the govenment to exercise self-restraint."