“No Candidate Should Ask for Vote on Basis of Caste or Religion” : Supreme CourtJanuary 02, 2017 14:29
The Supreme Court on Monday gave an order stating that “no politician can seek votes in the name of caste, creed or religion.”
The apex court said, "election is a secular exercise and thereby its way and process should be followed."
It added that" the 'relationship between man and God' is an individual choice and the state is forbidden to interfere in such an activity."
The top court in its verdict stated that if any person seeks a vote on the basis of religion will be considered as a corrupt practice under electoral laws.
The Supreme Court was reviewing a bunch of petitions in the 'Hindutva case', about whether religion can be used to collect votes in an election, and if it will be considered as an amount of “corrupt practice” leading to disqualification of the leading candidate.
A seven-judge bench, comprising Chief Justice T.S. Thakur and Justices M. B. Lokur, S.A. Bobde, A.K. Goel, Uday Lalit, D.Y. Chandrachud and L. Nageswar Rao, had held the verdict on October 26 on the issue of law relating to the representation of “corrupt practice” within the meaning of Section 123 (3) of the Representation of the People Act.
“The essence, the ethos of our constitutional system is secularism, where religion and politics don’t mix. Elections are a secular activity or not? In a secular state, can religion be brought into secular activities?” the court had asked.
The CJI said that "asking votes in the name of religion by a candidate, or on his behalf, may be a greater evil than seeking votes in the name of caste or language as the religious appeal is bound to influence the voters."
BY M. DIVYA SRI