Killing or assault in the name of religion not justified: Supreme Court

Killing or assault in the name of religion not justified: Supreme Court

New Delhi: Supreme Court has cautioned courts against passing any order which may smack of “bias for or against a community.” It also observed that killing or assaulting a person for having different religious identity can never be justified.

The apex court strongly disapproved of hate crimes and maintained that every court has to be mindful of the pluralistic character of the Indian society and hence its duty to objectively decide rights of different groups.

A bench of Justices SA Bobde and L Nageswara Rao ruled that the courts cannot make observations which may appear to be coloured with a bias for or against a community.

“The fault of the deceased was only that he belonged to another religion. I consider this factor in favour of the accused … ,” the Bombay High Court had said in its order while granting bail to three accused belonging to Hindu Rashtra Sena for allegedly killing a Muslim youth in 2014. Taking exception to the observation made by the high court, the Court on Thursday said that such remarks were uncalled for

The bail order was challenged in the Supreme Court, by a relative of deceased Shaikh Mohsin. During the hearing of the case, the apex court said it was difficult to understand why the HC released the trio on bail by citing the religion of the deceased as the primary ground.

The court quashed the HC order and asked all three accused, Ranjeet Shankar Yadav, Ajay Dilip Lalge and Vijay Rajendran Gambhire — all reportedly the members of Hindu Rashtra Sena, to surrender and seek bail afresh.