Supreme Court refers petition against Sanskrit prayer in KVs to 5-judge bench
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Supreme Court refers petition against Sanskrit prayer in KVs to 5-judge bench

Article 28(1) of the Indian Constitution says, “No religion instruction shall be provided in any education institution wholly maintained out of State funds.” A bench led by Justice RF Nariman, while hearing the petition said the matter should be placed before the Chief Justice of India for reference to an appropriate bench.

india Updated: Jan 28, 2019 13:46 IST
Bhadra Sinha
Bhadra Sinha
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Kendriya Vidyalaya,Sanskrit prayer,Supreme Court
The Supreme Court on Monday referred a petition questioning the daily Sanskrit prayer in Kendriya Vidyalaya to a five-judge bench.(Representative Image/HT File Photo)

The Supreme Court on Monday referred a petition questioning the daily Sanskrit prayer in Kendriya Vidyalaya to a five-judge bench.

The petition questions the daily singing of the prayer “Asato Ma Sadgamaya”.

Hearing the petition, the court said the petition raises questions of seminal importance as to the correct interpretation of Article 28(1).

Article 28(1) of the Indian Constitution says, “No religion instruction shall be provided in any education institution wholly maintained out of State funds.”

A bench led by Justice RF Nariman, while hearing the petition said the matter should be placed before the Chief Justice of India for reference to an appropriate bench.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta attempted to tell the court that the prayer has no religious connotation and is secular in nature.

He said the Centre should be heard before the petition is referred to a larger bench. “The prayer simply means lead me from darkness to light,” he said.

At this, Justice Nariman told Mehta that the prayer was from the Upanishads.

The law officer responded by saying that the emblem in every courtroom is a Sanskrit verse from Mahabharata, (”Yato dharma Tato jaya - Where there is Justice, there will be Victory”), and it is very secular in nature.

But justice Nariman said: “That may be your argument. You can argue before the bench. This needs to be decided by five judges.”

First Published: Jan 28, 2019 13:46 IST