CJI NV Ramana lighting lamp to ‘pay tribute to Maa Saraswati’ ahead of public seminar triggers debate on judiciary’s secular role amidst hijab ban


A photo of Chief Justice of India NV Ramana joining Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to light a lamp to ‘pay tribute to Maa Saraswati’ ahead of a public seminar has triggered a debate on the judiciary’s secular role amidst the hijab ban in Karnataka.

Photo: LiveLaw Twitter (@LiveLawIndia)

CJI Ramana was a chief guest at a national seminar on Adjudication of IPR Disputes in India. Also joining him was Delhi High Court Chief Justice DN Patel. Livelaw shared a photo of CJI Ramana and Sitharaman lighting a lamp in accordance with the Hindu religious practice before the start of the seminar.

The photo of India’s chief justice joining Sitharaman, also a BJP politician, in taking part in a religious ritual followed by Hindus became controversial. Many were quick to call the act ‘hypocritical’ in light of the Karnataka High Court banning Muslim girls from wearing hijab in its interim order.

Journalist Dilip Mandal shared the photo to write, “Indian model of majoritarian hegemonic secularism!”

This is how others reacted on Twitter;

Speaking at the event, CJI Ramana said that the Indian judiciary was ‘absolutely independent and always treats all parties equally and equitably.’

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