The petition questions if an institution funded by the state can propagate any religion.

Why a common Hindu prayer in Kendriya Vidyalayas SCs notice to CentreImage for representation. YouTube screenshot
news Religion Wednesday, January 10, 2018 - 15:29

The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued a notice to the Centre over students in Kendriya Vidyalaya’s being made to recite a Hindu prayer in school. The SC has sought a response from the Centre within four weeks.

There are 1,125 Kendriya Vidyalaya’s across the country.

This notice was based on a petition filed by lawyer Veenayak Shah, whose children were also students of Kendriya Vidyalaya.

The SC wants a response on why the school prayer should be allowed in KVs, reported the Times of India.

A bench comprising of Justice Rohinton F Nariman and Navin Shah issued notices to the Centre as well as the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sanghatan. “It is a very important constitutional issue,” said Justice Nariman while issuing the notice. 

Veenayak’s petition challenged the validity of Article 92 of the 'Revised Education Code of Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan'.

As per the petition, “all the students irrespective of their faith and belief have to perform the prayer in a respective manner by closing their eyes and folding their hands.”

The petitioner questions if an institution funded by the state can propagate any religion. He also says that this is in violation of the Constitution, as the Constitution permits a citizen to follow their religion, and also guarantees freedom of speech.

“This practice creates a lot of obstacles in developing a Scientific Temperament among the students as the whole idea of God and Religious Faith is given immense priority,” Veenayak writes in the petition.

“The above prayer is being enforced throughout the country in all Kendra Vidhalayas. As a result, parents and children of the minority communities as well as Atheist and others who do not agree with this system of Prayer such as Agnostics, Sceptisists, Rationalists and others would find the imposition of this prayer constitutionally impermissible,” the petition adds.

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