May act if Sikh jokes are commercially exploited: Supreme Court

NEW DELHI (TIP): The Supreme Court on March 17 agreed to hear on April 5 the plea of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) along with other petitions seeking ban on circulation of jokes about the Sikh community and said it may act if people are commercially exploiting the jokes. A bench comprising chief justice TS Thakur and justice UU Lalit said that the fresh plea of the SGPC would be tagged along with other pending matters on the issue and will be heard together.

During the brief hearing, the bench asked advocate Satinder Singh Gulati, appearing for the SGPC, to point out the areas where sub-judicial orders can be passed. “Tell us which are the areas where we can do something. We will certainly look into it if entire community is feeling harassed,” the bench said, adding that it may pass some orders if circulation of such jokes is being commercially exploited.

The counsel for SGPC said, “A stereotype has been created and Sikhs are being discriminated (against) in society because of a particular language and religion.” The bench asked the lawyer to give suggestions and assured him that it will certainly look into them.

Earlier, on a separate plea by the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) against jokes on Sikhs, the apex court had observed that there was a need for sensitising the society from the formative stages.The Supreme Court, which had asked for suggestions from the committee, had said it can stop jokes when they are circulated for a commercial purpose and it would examine the framing of guidelines to stop circulation of racist or communal jokes in the cyber world.

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