The Supreme Court on Monday said that it will “seriously” examine a plea to ban jokes on Sikhs and Sardars if the community feels offended and comes forward with an appeal for prohibition.
“If we think that your community does feel bad about it, we will definitely seriously consider it,” said a bench led by Chief Justice T S Thakur as it heard Sikh lawyer Harvinder Chowdhury’s PIL that seeks a ban on such jokes. In her petition, she has claimed that such jokes are a violation of their right to equality with fellow citizens and an attack on the dignity of the community. Her petition said the court should order the government to ensure such jokes are taken off websites and filters are put in place to prevent the spread of similar jokes in the future.
“Does your community stand by you?” the bench asked Chowdhary. To this, she responded that the Delhi Sikh Gurduwara Management Committee (DSGMC) has filed a petition on the same issue and was engaging senior lawyers, including Ram Jethmalani, to argue for the ban.
While Chowdhary was making submissions, the bench asked Additional Solicitor General P S Patwalia to express his views on the issue since he was a Sardar. However, the woman lawyer continued to make submissions, not letting the ASG reply. Later, at the end of the proceedings, Patwalia told the bench: “We have taken things seriously.” The bench then said this PIL would be heard along with the petition of the DSGMC.