The Supreme Court on Tuesday gave six weeks to a panel to suggest ways to stop circulation and commercial exploitation of jokes on the Sikh community.
The Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee (DSGMC) constituted the panel headed by justice HS Bedi after the top court took cognisance of a petition seeking a ban on jokes ridiculing Sardars.
The petitioner, lawyer Harvinder Chowdhury, has cited harassment faced by her family members.
“She has been very passionate about it. We must not waste more time on this. Tell the panel to formulate the mechanism within six weeks so that we are able to hold a proper hearing of the matter,” a bench headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur told the DSGMC counsel, senior lawyer RS Suri.
The committee includes retired SC judge Justice MY Iqbal, former bureaucrat Pawan Kumar Verma, Rajya Sabha member MP Bezbaruah and retired IAS officer Raghubir Singh.
Chowdhury recalled the harassment her children faced as Sikhs. She urged the court to hear the matter at the earliest and pass some directions to stop bullying of Sikh kids in schools.
The lawyer said it should be mandatory for parents to give an undertaking that their kids will not bully children from the Sikh community.
Besides, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has also sought a ban on jokes lampooning Sikhs. The SGPC counsel said: “A stereotype has been created and Sikhs are being discriminated against in society because of a particular language and religion.”
The bench assured the counsel that it will certainly look into suggestions to stop people from circulating such jokes. “We don’t want any group to be an object of constant ridicule. But how can our order imposing the ban be implemented?” it asked the lawyer.
In an earlier hearing too, the court said its orders had to be within the “judicial dimension” so that they are capable of being implemented. “We cannot say something which is impossible for implementation.”