Home Law Supreme Court refers plea challenging recitation of Sanskrit prayers in KVs to Constitution bench

Supreme Court refers plea challenging recitation of Sanskrit prayers in KVs to Constitution bench

The petition was filed in the Supreme Court by one Veenayak Shah who is reported to be the father of children who received their education from Kendriya Vidyalaya. In the petition, he claimed that reciting prayers "creates a lot of obstacles in developing a Scientific Temperament" and that it was imparting religious instructions.

The Supreme Court has sent a plea challenging the mandatory recitation of Sanskrit and Hindi hymns during the morning assembly in Kendriya Vidyalayas to its Constitution bench.

The proceedings in the Court witnessed a confrontation between Justice Nariman and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta who appeared on behalf of the Union Government.

“It is a universal truth, recognised by all texts, all paths of religion. It cannot become religious only because it is in Sanskrit. You have Christian schools saying ‘Honesty is the best policy’. Will that make the statement religious? I don’t think so,” Mehta said. Justice Nariman, who headed the two-bench Judge on the matter, replied, “But this hymn ‘Asato Ma Sadgamaya’ is directly from the Upanishad.”

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The SG retorted saying, “The logo, which is there behind every judge of this Court says ‘Yato Dharmas Tato Jaya’, meaning where there is Dharma, there is a victory. There is nothing religious or communal about it.” The Court, however, was not convinced and referred the matter to a Constitution bench.

The petition was filed by one Veenayak Shah who is reported to be the father of children who received their education from Kendriya Vidyalaya. In the petition, he claimed that reciting prayers “creates a lot of obstacles in developing a Scientific Temperament” and that it was imparting religious instructions.

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