HT, 13 Jul 2016, NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday gave six weeks to a panel to suggest ways to stop circulation and commercial exploitation of jokes on the Sikh community.
The Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee (DSGMC) constituted the panel headed by Justice HS Bedi after the top court took cognisance of a public interest petition seeking a ban on jokes ridiculing Sardars.
The petitioner, advocate Harvinder Chowdhury has cited harassment faced by her family members in support of her plea.
“She has been very passionate about it. We must not waste more time on this. Tell the panel to formulate the mechanism within six weeks so that we are able to hold a proper hearing of the matter,” a bench headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur told the DSGMC counsel, senior lawyer RS Suri. The committee includes retired SC judge Justice MY Iqbal, former bureaucrat Pawan Kumar Verma, Rajya Sabha member MP Bezbaruah and retired IAS officer Raghubir Singh.
Chowdhury recalled the harassment her children faced as Sikhs. Accompanied by a battery of lawyers from the community, she urged the court to hear the matter soon and pass some directions to stop bullying of Sikh kids in schools. Chowdhury said it should be mandatory for parents to give an affidavit that their kids will not bully children from the Sikh community. Besides her, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee ( SGPC) has sought a ban on circulation of jokes.
The SGPC counsel said: “A stereotype has been created and Sikhs are being discriminated against in society because of a particular language and religion.”