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#MadrasHC – Evidence of conducting puja alone cannot define a Hindu

Oct 31, 2013,  TNN[ A Subramani ]

Not conducting puja by a Hindu in puja room regularly cannot be a conclusive proof to declare that he is not a Hindu, the Madras high court said.
CHENNAI: Holding that not conducting puja by a Hindu in puja room regularly cannot be a conclusive proof to declare that he is not a Hindu, the Madras high court has quashed cancellation of community certificate of a dalit panchayat president, who had reconverted from Christianity.

A division bench comprising Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar and Justice K Ravichandra Baabu, concurring with the submissions of senior advocate K Duraisamy on Thursday, said the village administrative officer and the revenue divisional officer were not correct in concluding that K Vasikaran was not a Hindu, merely because his house had a puja room but there was no evidence of prayer/puja there. They also reported that words from the Bible were found at the house and a cross had been inscribed on its pillars.

Vasikaran was elected president of Gerugambakkam panchayat, which is a local body reserved for dalits, in October 2011. After the poll loss, his rival candidate moved the state election commission to strip him of the post, saying he was a Christian and that his community certificate too should be cancelled. The matter was referred to the revenue authorities for filing of a report.

The officials visited his home and held inquiries before submitting a report favouring cancellation of the dalit certificate.

Vasikaran said the district collector had sent his notices to an addressee K Victor, which was his name when he was Christian. He had become a Hindu by undergoing a ‘shuddhi’ ceremony by the Arya Samaj at Chennai, and a certificate too has been given by the organisation. Noting that his community has accepted him, he said he had polled more than 2,600 votes, which was another indication of acceptance by his community.

Concurring with him, the bench said Vasikaran had been described as a dalit in his school certificate in 1989. The Sriperumpudur tahsildar issued a proper community certificate in 1996. But, his poll rivals had not raked up his caste status before the election, the bench said.

 

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