The Delhi High Court today dismissed a plea seeking withdrawal of coins having religious symbols embossed on them, saying it does not dent the secular fabric of the country. A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar rejected the PIL filed by two Delhi residents who had sought a direction to the RBI and the Finance Ministry to withdraw the coins brought out in 2010 and 2013 with images of Brihadeeswara Temple and Mata Vaishno Devi, respectively.
"It does not dent the country's secular fabric and secularism does not bar issuance of coins to commemorate any event," the bench said. The bench observed that the petitioners were not able to support their argument that the act of issuing coins with religious figures was impacting religious practices.
"The decision to issue coin to commemorate an occasion is purely in the domain of the government under the Coinage Act, 2011," the court said, adding there was no act of favouritism or discrimination by the government by directing minting of coins to commemorate a particular event under the Act. The PIL filed by Delhi residents, Nafis Qazi and Abu Sayeed, had sought a direction to the RBI and the Finance Ministry to withdraw the coins brought out in 2010 and 2013 with religious symbols on them.
"These symbols undermine the secular character, a basic feature of the Constitution.... The making, marking, naming, drawing, embossing or displaying overtly any religious figure or symbol is tantamount to espousing a religion by the State," the plea had said. -- PTI