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Indian Supreme Court Rejects Petition seeking Incorporation of Sikh History in School Syllabus

April 25, 2017 | By

New Delhi: The Supreme Court of India (SCI) on Monday (April 24) refused to issue any directions on a petition seeking incorporation of Sikh History in School Syllabus. The civil writ petition no.. 268/2017, titled as Subhash Chander Katyal vs. Union of India & Ors. was heard and by Justice Dipak Misra and Justice A. M. Khanwilkar of the Supreme Court of India.

The petition was filed under Article 32 of the Constitution of India, in which the petitioner had sought issuance of a writ of mandamus and appropriate directions commanding the respondents, namely, the Union of India and all the States and Union Territories to incorporate detailed life history and teachings of all the ten Sikh Gurus along with Guru Granth Saheb in syllabus of all the classes in history books for teaching.

[File Photo] – Supreme Court of India

The petition had argued in the petition that the life history of Sikh Gurus and history of Sikhs have not been given appropriate place in history books whereas there is mention of other historical personalities and different rulers.

In its two page decision, the court said: [w]ithout entering into the merits, suffice it to say that what shall be taught in the schools or what shall be included in the syllabus of all classes cannot be directed by this Court in exercise of power of judicial review and also in exercise of power relating to entertaining public interest litigation where rule of locus is not insisted upon and the scope and ambit have been exercised. The present case comes within the realm of public interest litigation.

The counsel for the petitioner argued that the cause of public interest would be best sub-served if this Court directs the respondents to incorporate complete history and teachings of Gurus in the syllabus of history books of all classes.

But the judges of the Supreme Court of India (SCI) were not convinced. The said: [B]e it noted, despite expanded horizon, public interest litigation has its own limitations. Any litigant should not feel, when he files a public interest litigation that his hope and aspirations for anything and everything deserves to crystalise. He should not harbour the feelings that for any idea to be fructified, he can knock at the doors of this Court under Article 32 of the Constitution of India. The broad canvass that is sought to be painted in this petition, as it appears to us, does not come within the domain and sphere of the public interest litigation.

“In view of the aforesaid analysis, we do not perceive any merit in this petition and accordingly the same stands dismissed”, judges said.

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