SC rejects plea for separate religious identity for Sikhs


New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday refused to entertain a petition requesting a separate religious identity for Sikhs.

The petition filed by J S Sethi said the community which is issued birth certificates under the Hindu law faces an uphill task to explain to the immigration authorities across the globe that the community is different from the Hindus.

“It is very difficult to convince the people abroad, especially the immigration authorities, that though they are given birth certificate under the Hindu Marriage Act, they are Sikh by religion,” senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, counsel for the petitioner, told a Bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan.

He was appearing for Sethi, a Sikh, who filed the PIL seeking suitable amendment in the Constitution to declare the community out of the purview of the Act.

The plea sought directions for amendment to Article 25 of the Constitution for implementing the recommendation of a commission headed by Justice M N Venkatachaliah to unlink Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism from the Hindu Marriage Act.

The Bench, also comprising Justices R V Raveendran and Deepak Verma, said though it was in agreement with the issues raised in the petition, it could not entertain the subject as it had to be looked into by an appropriate authority in the government.

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