New Delhi: In a development, which may have far-reaching consequences, the Supreme Court is all set to review its two-decade-old Hindutva judgement paving way for more stringent electoral laws to prevent misuse of religion for electoral gains categorising them as corrupt practice.
A seven-judge bench comprising Chief Justice T S Thakur and justices MB Lokur, S A Bobde, AK Goel, UU Lalit, DY Chandrachud and L Nageswara Rao will hear the matter on Tuesday.
The issue assumes significance as nearly two decades back the Supreme Court had allowed politicians to seek votes by using words like "Hindutva" and "Hinduism", said an Indian Express report.
The highest court had then ruled that 'Hinduism' or 'Hindutva' is not a religion but a way of life.
This ruling delivered in 1995 was called the 'Hindutva judgement and handed down by a bench of 3 SC judges led by the then chief justice of India, J S Verma.
The SC had then concluded that 'Hinduism' was "indicative more of a way of life of the Indian people and is not confined merely to describe persons practising the Hindu religion as a faith”.
However, later a question was raised in the apex court if, a politician seeks votes in the name of 'Hinduism', will it amount to corrupt practices under the Representation of People's Act and subsequently attract disqualification.
The court had then answered the question in the negative and held that seeking votes in the name of Hinduism is not a “corrupt practice” under Section 123 of the Representation of the People Act, which would result in setting aside the election of winning candidates.
However, over 2 decades later, a Supreme Court bench of 7 judges is set to revisit this contentious ruling.