and Anr Vs. Union of India  Insc 302 (21 July 2003)
Sinha S.B. Sinha, J :
agreeing with the opinion of My Lord, the Chief Justice of India, I would like
to add only a few words.
of charity and compassion is to be found in all religions without any
exception. Only because charity and compassion are preached in every religion,
the same by itself would not be a part of the 'religious practice' within the
meaning of Article 25 of the Constitution of India.
the Religion of Christianity encouraging the Christians to practise charities
to attain spiritual salvation is of not much relevance for this purpose. Such preachings
are also found in Bhagavat Geeta and Upanishad.
Collins English Dictionary, 'Christian' is defined as a person who believes in
and follows Jesus Christ.
we may notice that this Court in Lily Thomas and Others vs. Union of India and
Others [(2000) 6 SCC 224] in relation to the religion of Islam observed thus :
word "Islam" means "peace and submission". In its religious
connotation it is understood as "submission to the will of God";
according to Fyzee (outlines of Mohammedan Law, 2nd Edn.), in its secular
sense, the establishment of peace. The word "Muslim" in Arabic is the
active principle of Islam, which means acceptance of faith, the noun of which
is Islam." The petitioners have quoted a passage purported to be from
Chapter 19 of Gospel according to Luke. The Holy Bible published by Gideons
does not contain the said passage.
that the said preachings have found place in the Holy Bible, the same ex facie
would go to show that what was being preached is renouncement.
if the said passage is taken to be correct, the same appears to be a person who
had followed namely : Do not commit adultery; do not commit murder; do not
steal; do not accuse anyone falsely; respect your father and your mother. That
was an advice to a person.
of world by a person following any religion is necessarily not the essential practice
of the religion which is meant for commonness. Gandhiji also said renouncement
for renouncement from the world have no co- relation with the tenets of Article
25 of the Constitution of India.
impugned provision was enacted to prevent persons from making ill-considered
death bequest under religious influence. The object behind the said legislation
was, therefore, to protect a section of illiterate or semi- literate persons
who used to blindly follow the preachers of the religion.
purpose has lost all significance with the passage of time and, therefore, has
to be declared ultra vires Article 14 of the Constitution of India.