The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee (DSGMC) to suggest the ways to sensitise people on the adverse impact of jokes poking fun at the Sikh community.
A bench of Chief Justice T. S. Thakur, Justice R. Banumathi and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit asked for the suggestion from the DSGMC which had urged the court to have orientation course at school level to curb such jokes demeaning or hurting the community.
Before seeking the suggestions, Chief Justice Thakur pointed out that the country had a Sikh president Giani Zail Singh, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the army and air force were at different points of time were headed by Sikhs and "very soon the country will have a Sikh Chief Justice of India" citing the appointment of Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar to the post when he demits office in January 2017.
Seeking suggestion from senior counsel R. S. Suri and A. P. S. Ahluwalia, it said that if it passes an order to curb such jokes, then "how will we enforce it".
"We will not say something that can't be enforced" as it damages judiciary, said Chief Justice Thakur.
"I don't want any order to be passed that can't be enforced. We should have guidelines that court has issued in many cases, " Suri told the court suggesting that there should be orientation of the children at school level to sensitise them against making jokes poking at the Sikhs, making unappreciable comments on Biharis or people from the northeast.
He told the court that jokes should not become malicious, dirty, demeaning or hurting the sentiments of the people.
Pressing for the orientation courses, Suri said that 68 years after becoming republic, what we are witnessing in India is an anarchy. Referring to the way a judge of the Madras High Court has passed an order staying his transfer order issued by Chief Justice of India, Suri said that there was "judicial anarchy. . lawyers in black robes were beating journalist in Patiala House courts".
The "court must address the large picture. It requires consideration", he said.
The court asked the DSGMC to give suggestion in the course of the hesaring of a PIL by a lawyer Harvinder Chowdhury seeking a ban on websites carrying jokes on Sikhs projecting the community in dim light.
The petitioner has urged the court to direct the government to clamp down on the more than 5, 000 websites like www. jokesduniya. com/category/sardar - jokes. htm, as they were "criticising one community and it should stop".