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SC seeks response from Centre over morning prayers in Kendra Vidyalayas

Ayodhya dispute

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued notice to the Centre asking for a response to Public Interest Litigation (PIL) which alleged that school prayers in Kendriya Vidyalayas propagate Hinduism.

The PIL questioned if public institutes could promote a particular religion and said the prayers should be discontinued since the schools are run by the government.

Considering the issue as important, a bench of Justices R F Nariman and Navin Sinha issued notices to Centre and the Kendriya Vidyalaya management seeking a response.

The plea, filed by Madhya Pradesh resident Veenayak Shah, claimed that students irrespective of their faith and belief were asked to compulsorily recite a prayer based on the Hindu religion at the morning assembly.

It also pleaded that the practise created obstacles in development scientific temperament among students.

The petitioner also submitted that the common prayer is a “religious instruction” within the meaning of Article 28 of the Constitution and should therefore be prohibited. Article 28(1) of the Constitution says that no religious instruction shall be provided in any educational institution wholly maintained out of state funds.

Operational for nearly 50 years, the Kendriya Vidyalayas are a system of central government schools in India which were instituted under the aegis of the Ministry Of Human Resource Development.

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