In a landmark decision, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has taken suo-motu cognizance of the old practice of mentioning the religion of the accused in the criminal/victim cases. The Punjab and Haryana High Court has banned this practice.
The decision has been taken by a Bench headed by Justice Rajiv Sharma and Justice Harinder Singh Sidhu. They ruled that mentioning of religion in an inquiry, investigation or trial was against the spirit of the Constitution and could cause bias and prejudice during the course of probe and trial.
Also, it can be ascertained here that religion in the courtroom is problematic because of the trust placed in the judges and juries to make impartial and rational decisions. Apart from this, personal prejudices that favor religion over no religion become factors in what should otherwise be a secular examination of the facts and oral arguments, while the courts’ duty to uphold the law is tainted by any use of religion to examine the trustworthiness or morality of the accused.