Supreme Court ruling on secularism is problematic: CPI-M
New Delhi, Jan 5 (IANS) The Supreme Court ruling barring the use of religion to seek votes is welcome but problematic too, the Communist Party of India-Marxist has said.
“In terms of the realities of Indian society, it can have unintended effects,” an editorial in the CPI-M journal “People’s Democracy” has said.
While the main thrust of the interpretation of Section 123 (3) by the majority judges seems unimpeachable, “the judgment is problematic”, it said.
The majority verdict of the seven-judge Constitution Bench ruled that appeals for votes on grounds of religion, caste, community and language cannot be allowed.
The majority judgment held that any appeal concerning the voter’s religious, caste or community identity would also be a violation of the law.
“In short, the majority judgment makes no difference between appeals for support based on a candidate’s identity and a candidate or his agent talking about the voter’s religious, caste or linguistic issues.”
It said the minority judgment written by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud had raised some relevant issues which needed serious consideration.
The dissenting judges pointed out that by broadening the interpretation of the law, issues of social oppression faced by some castes, communities or linguistic minorities would come under the purview of corrupt practices.
“The minority judgment makes an effective case for allowing such issues based on religious, caste or community oppression or discrimination to be raised in the election discourse,” the editorial said.
“This verdict is by no means the last word on the growing communal appeal used in electoral politics…
“In the meantime, there can be no prohibition on the raising of issues of oppression of any particular religious community, caste or linguistic group.”