Almost two decades after the Supreme Court allowed politicians to seek votes by using words like “Hindutva” and “Hinduism”, The Supreme Court is set to revisit its own judgement on Tuesday on whether the words connote the “way of life” of Indian people. The Highest court of the land that is Supreme Court had ruled that Hinduism/Hindutva is not a religion but a way of life. The judgement delivered in 1995 by Supreme Court was called the Hindutva judgement and handed down by a bench of 3 Supreme Court judges led by then Chief Justice of India, JS Verma.
The Supreme Court held that Hinduism was “indicative more of a way of life of the Indian people and is not confined merely to describe persons practising the Hindu religion as a faith”. Then a question was raised in the Supreme Court if, a politician sought votes in the name of Hinduism, will it amount to corrupt practises under the Representation of People’s Act and subsequently attract disqualification.
The Supreme Court had then answered the question in the negative and held that seeking votes in the name of Hinduism is not a “corrupt practice” under Section 123 of the Representation of the People Act, which would result in setting aside the election of winning candidates. However, over two decades later, a bench of 7 Judges of the Supreme Court of India is set to revisit this contentious judgement.