Dattu J v. Joseph J

Records seem to indicate that in 2006, No. 13 was skipped while assigning numbers to courtrooms in a newly inaugurated Kerala High Court Complex. One Mr. N.K. Chandramohan filed a Writ Petition, bearing No. 4268 of 2006, wherein it was alleged that the Triskaidekaphobia had arisen out of a belief that the “13th Guest” at the Last Supper was Judas and such a belief surely violated the secular principles that the Kerala High Court was ordained to uphold. The High Court dismissed the Writ Petition with costs and held that there was “no religious tinge” behind not allocating the number; the decision was purely an administrative recommendation. On an appeal to the SC [Civil Appeal No. 5138 of 2006, yet undecided], a 3-Judge Bench is said to have commented, however, “The High Court is an institution. It should not be allowed to encourage this sort of superstition”. In 2006, Hon’ble Justice Kurian Joseph was a Sitting Judge of the Kerala High Court and the eventual Chairman of the Kerala High Court Legal Services Committee. It shall indeed be indicative to enquire which side of the controversy did he fall in This Day; That Year. And what did Hon’ble Justice Dattu have to say when he arrived at the High Court, as its Chief Justice, in 2007. My curiosity borders on being voyeuristic. But then, no controversy is without its fair share of history.

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