Supreme Court: No Politician Can Seek Vote In The Name Of Caste, Creed Or Religion

The Logical Indian

January 2nd, 2017

Image Courtesy: aqusagtechnologipublicbroadcasting

In a historic verdict, a seven-judge panel of the Supreme Court ruled that politicians who use religion, caste, creed or language to gain votes will be immediately disqualified. In simple yet significant words the SC said, “The relationship between man and God is an individual choice. The state is forbidden to have allegiance to such an activity … Religion has no role in the electoral process, which is a secular activity … Mixing state with religion is not constitutionally permissible.”

The panel was headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur.

Four of the seven judges ruled in favour of the verdict. The opposition argued that the verdict amounted to “judicial redrafting of the law”. It also said that this move reduced “democracy to an abstraction” to prohibit people from articulating legitimate concerns. “No government is perfect. The law doesn’t prohibit dialogue or discussion of a matter which is a concern to the voters,” the dissenters said.


The 1995 Verdict:

Following a controversial Shiv Sena campaign for the Vile Parle Assembly seat in 1987, a petition was filed against the inflammatory language pursued in the campaign. Some of Bal Thackeray’s statements during the campaign included “We are fighting this election for the protection of Hinduism. Therefore, we do not care for the votes of the Muslims. This country belongs to Hindus and will remain so … Anybody who stands against the Hindus should be showed or worshipped with shoes.”

The Supreme Court in 1995 struck down the petitioner’s argument. It was held that Hinduism was a way of life and not just a religion and that there was no bar on the use of words like Hindutva or Hinduism, or the demand for a Hindu state in an election campaign. Doing so would not amount to seeking votes in the name of religion – which is prohibited under section 123 (3) of the Representation of the People Act, the Court had ruled.


2016 Developments:

In 2016, the Supreme Court refused to revisit the 1995 verdict, and said it would not define “Hindutva”. The Chief Justice admonished Parliament for not having done enough to protect elections from religious pandering. The bench observed that the “right to contest is a statutory right. Secularism is a basic feature. Can we give an interpretation that does not further the cause of secularism … Religion and politics must not mix. Elections are a secular activity or not? In a secular state, can religion be brought into secular activities?”


The Logical Indian welcomes this move by the apex court. It is a milestone in the process of the advancement of India’s democracy and secularism. It will no doubt have long-terms effects on our politics. Its short-terms effects will primarily be centred around the upcoming Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab. 

Share your thoughts..

Related Stories

A Woman’s Religion Does Not Change If She Marries A Man Of Another Faith: SC

Right To Privacy, Triple Talaq & Karnan: CJI Khehar’s Short Tenure Saw Many Landmark Judgements

In A Historic Moment For Indian Secularism, SC Declares Instant Triple Talaq Unconstitutional

Voters File Petition

600 Voters File Petition At Bombay High Court To Find Out Where Did Their Vote Go

Subsidies Provided By Govt To Various Religions

Know About The Many Religious Subsidies Provided By Govt. & Why They Have No Place In A Secular Country

Ayodhya Dispute

SC Asks Parties To Resolve Ayodhya Dispute Outside Court; Know About It

Latest on The Logical Indian

News

Kerala: Adivasi Man Accused Of Theft Dies After Alleged Mob Attack

News

Woman Accuses Arunachal CM Pema Khandu Of Rape; The BJP Leader Terms It A “Political Move” Crafted By Opponents

Awareness

U.S. Visa Options For Investors And Entrepreneurs: EB-5

News

How Jatin Mehta Of Winsome Diamonds Pulled Off A Rs 7000 Cr Scam & Is Living Peacefully In Caribbean Islands

News

Kerala HC Rules Against Controversial ‘Chooral Muriyal’ Ritual

News

A Much Needed Step: 4 Fathers Jailed By Hyderabad Police For Allowing Their Kids To Drive