Justice Sudip Ranjan Sen of the high court of Meghalaya, who on December 10, while disposing of a petition had observed that India, which was divided on religious lines, should have been a ‘Hindu nation’ during Partition but was declared secular instead, clarified from his bench released late last night that history cannot be changed and that he strongly upheld the values of secularism.
In the clarification, Justice Sen said, “Secularism is one of the basic structures of our Indian Constitution. It should not be further divided on the basis of religion, caste, creed, community or language…I would also like to clarify here that in my judgment, nowhere have I said anything against secularism. My judgment makes references to history and one cannot change history”.
In December, Justice Sen had disposed of a petition for a domicile certificate observing that “Pakistan declared themselves as an Islamic country and India since was divided on the basis of religion should have also been declared as a Hindu country, but it remained as a secular country”.
The judge had urged the Prime Minister and other cabinet ministers to bring in a law to grant instant citizenship to persecuted Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhist, Parsis, Christians, Khasis, Jaintias and Garos from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan who sought refuge in India.
Following fierce criticism of his remarks from across the country, Justice Sen clarified, “I am not a religious fanatic rather I respect all religions, because to me God is one. I would like to make it clear that when I mentioned the government under Shri Narendra Modiji , it is inclusive of the Hon’ble Ministers and Hon’ble Members of both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha…My request was to the policy-makers and lawmakers…I also mention here that I do not belong to any political party nor have I any dream of any political berth after my retirement. Neither is my judgment politically motivated or influenced by any part.”
Seeking to clarify his take that Hindus and Sikhs were the victims of Partition, Justice Sen said, “Their presence in India is primarily due to the religious persecution that they have been facing through generations and nobody can deny that….”
Justice Sen said that many people living in India for generations still did not have proper records or documentation.
Sticking firmly to his original pronouncement, Justice Sen said, “Whatever is the truth, history and real ground reality, I have written my judgment on that basis to save the citizens of India irrespective of caste, creed, religion or language.…”
First Published: Dec 15, 2018 23:18 IST
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