New Delhi, October 25: The Supreme Court on Tuesday afternoon while hearing a petition said that it would not consider a 1995 judgement in which the court defined Hindutva as a ‘way of life and not a religion.’ Also Read - Supreme Court Slaps Rs 50,000 Fine on Waseem Rizvi For Plea Seeking Removal of 26 Verses From Quran
According to initial reports, the statement by Supreme Court came on a plea filed by activist Teesta Setalvad who had appealed at the top court to reconsider its judgement passed in 1995. Teesta Setalvad, a well-known activist who also runs an NGO – Citizen For Peace and Justice – wanted to ban the use of the word ‘Hindutva’ used during election
campaigning, apart from redefining its meaning. The recent judgement did have a significance as five states will go to poll next year. Also Read - Supreme Court Reverts to Virtual Hearings After 50% Staff Test COVID Positive
The plea was heard by a several-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur. The bench said, “We will no go into the larger debate as to what Hindutva is or what is its meaning. We will not re-consider the 1995 judgement and also not examine Hindutva or religion at this stage”. Also Read - SC Dismisses Pleas Of Maharashtra Govt, Anil Deshmukh Against CBI Enquiry On Parambir Singh's Allegations
The bench in its judgement further said, “We will confine ourselves to the issue raised before us in the reference. In the reference, there is no mention of the word ‘Hindutva’. If anybody will show that there is a reference to the word ‘Hindutva’, we will hear him. We will not go into Hindutva at this stage”. Also Read – Supreme Court to hear plea filed by banks’ against Vijay Mallya today
The bench, also comprised Justices S A Bobde, A K Goel, M B Lokur, U U Lalit, D Y Chandrachud and L Nageshwar Rao. The Apex Court took up a separate plea filed in 1990 which said whether seeking votes in the name of religion will amount to a corrupt practice under the Representation of the People Act warranting disqualification. The SC also said that they will examine a nexus between religious leaders and candidates and its legality under Section 123 (3) of the Represntation of the People Act.
The plea was filed after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Shiv Sena used speeches made by Pramod Mahajan in 1990 to seek votes in the name of Hindutva and Hindu Rashtra.