As per media reports, Chief Justice TS Thakur said the court won’t debate as to what is Hindutva or what is its meaning. It will not re-consider the 1995 judgement and also not examine Hindutva at this stage.
The court is scrutinising the scope of Section 123 (3), Representation of the People Act which deals with electoral malpractices and the like.
Dealing with the reference, the bench said, “At this stage, we will confine ourselves to the issue raised before us in the reference. In the reference, there is no mention of the word Hindutva.”
“If anybody will show that there is a reference to the word ‘Hindutva’, we will hear him. We will not go into ‘Hindutva’ at this stage,” said the bench comprising Justices MB Lokur, SA Bobde, AK Goel, UU Lalit, DY Chandrachud and L Nageshwar Rao said.
This was said after advocate KK Venugopal, appearing for one OP Gupta stepped into the ongoing proceedings and said he should be heard if the bench was going into the question of Hindutva and seeking of votes on the basis of religion.
Social activist Teesta Setalvad had earlier sought to intervene in the matter with an application stating that religion and politics should not be mixed and a direction be passed to de-link religion from politics.
One of the lawyers on October 26 told the bench that as per the previous judgement, the seven-judge bench should examine the issue of Hindutva.
To this, the CJI said that the bench would not hear the issue at this stage as nothing of this sort has been mentioned in the reference made to it by the five-judge bench.