The Delhi High Court on Thursday issued notice on a plea challenging the decision to illegally refuse a woman appearing in DSSSB Exam from entering into the examination centre for the reason of her wearing Kirpal.
A single judge bench comprising of Justice V Kameswar Rao sought response of the Centre, GNCTD, Delhi Subordinate Services Selection Board and Arwachin Bharti Bhawan. The notice is returnable on 11th August.
The plea filed through advocates Kapil Madan and Gurmukh Singh submits that the aforesaid action violates the Petitioner's Fundamental Right guaranteed under Article 25 of the Constitution of India that allows her to practice and profess the Sikh religion.
Calling the action as being manifestly arbitrary, discriminatory and violative of Art. 14, the plea avers thus:
"The Petitioner was directed to remove the "Kirpan" and "Kara" also before entering the examination centre. Being aggrieved by such request on part of the officials of Respondent No.4 the Petitioner refused to accede to the request and tried explaining that the Petitioner will not be able to remove the "Kirpan" and "Kara" since it was a matter of here religious faith and a part of her religious practice."
Further submitting that the vacancy was notified after a span of three years, the plea states that the Petitioner has been preparing for the examination from the past 1 and half years and that she will suffer irreparable loss if she is not even allowed to appear in the exam.
"It is submitted that for a Sikh to wear and carry "Kirpan" and "Kara" is very pious and is an essential element of their practice of Sikh religion. The law recognizes that religious freedom is primarily a matter of conscience. The Constitution of India allows the freedom to manifest one's religion, alone and in private or in community with others, in public and within the circle of those whose faith one shares. The meaning of "Kirpan" and "Kara" is covered under the category of any metallic items as barred items in the examination center is unconstitutional and is a direct infringement of Article 14, 19 and 25 of the Fundamental Right of the Petitioner herein." The plea reads.
In view of this, the plea seeks the following prayers:
- Pass writ in the nature of Quo Warranto or any other appropriate writ directing the Respondent No.1 and 2 to conduct an enquiry into the illegal refusal on the part of the Respondent No.3 and 4 to allow the Petitioner to appear in the exam.
- Pass a writ in the nature of Mandamus directing the Respondent No. 2 - 3 to make appropriate arrangements so that the Petitioner shall appear in the same examination at the earliest without any delay or wastage of time.
- Pass a writ in the nature of Mandamus directing the Respondent No.1 to make uniform guidelines so as to ensure that the Fundamental Rights guaranteed under Article 14, 19 and 25 of the Petitioner are secured and protected.
Title: Mrs. Manharleen Kaur v. Union of India & Ors.