The practice of mentioning caste or religion of litigants in court cases must be shunned, the Supreme Court has said while directing its registry and all other courts to stop it immediately.
A bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah directed all high courts to ensure that the caste or religion of a litigant does not appear in the memo of parties in any petition filed before HCs or subordinate courts under their jurisdiction.
“We see no reason for mentioning the caste/religion of any litigant either before this Court or the courts below. Such a practice is to be shunned and must be ceased forthwith.
“It is therefore deemed appropriate to pass a general order directing that henceforth the caste or religion of parties shall not be mentioned in the memo of parties of a petition/proceeding filed before this Court, irrespective of whether any such details have been furnished before the courts below,” the bench said.
The top court passed the order while allowing a transfer petition in a marital dispute pending before a family court in Rajasthan.
The apex court expressed surprise that the caste of both the husband and wife was mentioned in the memo of the parties.
The counsel for the petitioner informed the court that if the memo of parties as filed before the courts below is changed in any manner, the Registry raises an objection, and in the present case, as the caste of both the parties was mentioned before the court below, he had no option but to mention their caste in the transfer petition.
The top court directed that its order shall be brought to the notice of the members of the Bar as well as the Registry for immediate compliance.
“A copy of this order shall be placed before the Registrar concerned for perusal and for circulation to the Registrar Generals of all the High Courts for strict compliance,” the bench said.