Can Netas take oath in the name of Allah?

published on May 23, 2007

SC to examine validity of oath by legislators in “Allah`s name”

New Delhi, May 22: The Supreme Court has agreed to examine a petition challenging the Constitutional validity of legislators/MPs taking oath in the name of Allah at the time of their swearing-in ceremony.

A bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, posted for hearing after the vacation, the petition filed by Madhu Parumala, vice president of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, Kerala unit.

Madhu had filed the special leave petition (SLP) against the Kerala High Court’s July 21, 2006 order which had upheld the validity of the oath taken by certain state legislators in the name of Allah during the last year’s Assembly elections.

According to Madhu, taking the oath in the name of Allah was violative of Article 188 and third schedule of the Constitution under which a member of the legislature or Parliament has to swear only in the name of God or solemnly affirm.

In other words a person cannot take oath in the name of any particular God or deity but merely affirm in the name of God or his own conscience.

The petitioner submitted to the apex court a list of 11 legislators belonging to the Indian Union Muslim League, Indian National League and Congress who reportedly took the oath in the name of Allah on May 24, 2006 during the Assembly elections.

Madhu has urged the court to restrain the said members from attending the assembly sessions until the petition was decided and also wanted a stay on the judgment passed by the Kerala High Court.

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