The Delhi High Court today dismissed a petition, which had challenged the constitutionality of embossing images of Hindu deities on currency coins on grounds of being discriminatory.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had issued coins with the image of Goddess Vaishno Devi in 2013 to commemorate the silver jubilee of the Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board.
The petition filed by one, Nafis Qazi against the Finance Ministry and RBI, had contended that issuing coins with religious symbols was damaging to the secular fabric of the country.
The Government had denied the allegations, stating that the coins were issued under provisions of the Coinage Act and that the issuance was not meant to favour any religion over others.
The Bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar, while dismissing the petition, observed that the Government had the power to issue coins embossed with images of deities and that the said action did not amount to favoritism or discrimination.
“Secularism does not mean that the Government cannot commemorate an event of any religion. They may commemorate events of other religions in the future, they have the power to do so.”