Do everything to strengthen secular fabric: SC

New Delhi, Aug 8 (IANS): The Supreme Court Friday said India is a secular country and everything should be said and done to strengthen its secular fabric and people should refrain from giving undesirable colour to incidents.

"We are secular State. Everything must be said and done to protect the secular fabric," said an apex court bench of Chief Justice R.M. Lodha, Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman.

The court said this while asking petitioner Jyanti Bhartam not to rely just on newspaper reports or stories by word of mouth about girls going missing but to base the petition on specific instances backed by facts and representations made to authorities and by use of proper language.

Chief Justice Lodha said: "We are also concerned but the colour you have given is not correct."

The court's observation assumes significance as the PIL is rooted in the recent incident of alleged conversion and rape of a girl who was teaching in a seminary belonging to a particular community.

The court further said: "Every State has a duly elected government and any irregularity must be pointed out in an appropriate forum."

"Your averments are vague. They must be specific," and "Your language in prayers can't be entertained in the Supreme Court", the court told the petitioner, reminding the lawyer that he was addressing the apex court.

"You have no material except the newspaper reports and stories being circulated with word of mouth. You don't show the representation made to NCW or the superintendent of police", the court told the petitioner.

"What is the material that prima facie satisfy us about your case? You have not made any representation to authorities," the court told the petitioner pointing to the lack of material to back the averments in the petition.

The petitioner while referring to 40 to 50 girls going missing in Meerut and adjoining areas alleged that seminaries belonging to a particular community in Uttar Pradesh had become hub of conversion. The petitioner had sought setting up of a SIT probe for tracing these girls.

"You say 40 to 50 girls are missing. None of the parents have raised any complaint to the police about their missing daughter or granddaughter," the court wondered, while asking the petitioner: "Have you made any complaint to the National Commission for Women that this is happening to the girls. This is an extraordinary situation."


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