Article-19(1) (a) & article- 25(1)- National Anthem singing of compulsion despite genuine conscientious religious faith whether offence committed held, The fundamental Rights of the appellants under Article-19(1) & 25 (1) have been infringed The expulsion of three children from the school because of their conscientiously held religious faith they do not you’re the singing of the National Anthem in the morning assembly is a violation of fundamental right guaranteed under Article-25(1) of the constitution Therefore, the judgement of the High Court is set aside and the respondents directed to re-admit the children in the school- Petition allowed.
Bijoe Emmamual & Ors. …………………. Petitioner
State of Kerala & Ors. ……………Respondent
Judgement by: REDDY, O, CHINAPPA (J)
This petition under article 136 of the Constitution of India filed as special leave petition(SLP) seeks an appeal on the Judgement of Honourable HC of Kerala and challenging the expulsion of three children of Jehovah’s witnesses on the ground because, In the morning assembly, when the National Anthem is sung, they stand respectfully but they do not sing and the some violating curtailing the fundamental Rights of the children of Jehovism’s witnesses under Articles 9(1)(a) and 25 of the constitution of India.
That the Expulsion of three children from School who belongs to Jehovah Community because of their denial to sing the national anthem of country i.e. “Jana Gana Mana” was inconsistent with the constitutional right to freedom of expression and thought and freedom of religion.
Article: 19, Article: 25 and Article: 136 of the Constitution of India, Article: 51-A of the Constitution of India ; Section: 3 of the Prevention of Insults of National Honour Act- 1971 Section 36 of the Kerala Education Act, Section 12 of the Indian Police Act.
Referred Case Laws & Observations:
In the case of Jagdishwarand Vs. Police Commissioner Calcutta (AIR 1984 SC 51, (1983) 4 SCC 522
The honourable Supreme Court of India observes the power of court in the religious matters as- “Courts have the power to determine whether a particular rite or observance is regarded as essential by the tenets of a particular religion”
In “Sastri, Yagnapurushad ji and Ors. Vs. Huldas Bhurudas Vaishya & Another”
The court has stated “religious means a system of beliefs as doctrine which are regarded by these who profess that religion as conducive to their spiritual wellbeing”
“the very essence of the liberty which they guaranteed is the individual from compulsion as to the shall think what he shall say at least where the compulsion is to bear false witness to his religion.” : Stone J
Findings of the Court:
“We find that the fundamental rights of the appellants under Article 19(1)(a) & 25(1) have been infringed and they are entitled to be protected”
The court set aside the judgement of the HC and held direct the respondent authorities to re-admit the children into the school, to permit them their studies without hindrance & to facilitate the pursuit of their studies by giving them the necessary facilities.
The court very clearly brought out the overlapping horizons in the field of right of freedom of expression & practising religion the petition is an instance example of restraint from practising their religion absconding to their faith and belief the court held that the arguments made by the learned counsel from petition side are constitutional and the decision of the school authority to expel the children is an instance in curtailing of the fundamental right under Article 19 and Article 25 of the constitution of India.
At the end after pursuing the facts of the case & hearing of the arguments and the contentions of the learned counsels from both the sides. We came to the view that as the conduct injurious to the moral tone of the school as the class.