Millennium Post

Court asks for ban on coins with Vaishno Devi image

Delhi High Court has issued notice to finance ministry seeking reply within three weeks on a plea questioning issue of rupee five coins with image of deity Vaishno Devi embossed on it. The court was told by petitioner Nafis Qazi that secular democratic credentials of governance are damaged when the government issues currency with religious symbols. ‘The government, by bringing out coins at regular intervals with religious symbols such as figures of a deity or temple embossed on them, was indulging in anti-secular actions,’ said the petitioner.

A bench of acting chief justice BD Ahmed and justice Sidharth Mridul asked the ministry of finance to file a reply within three weeks, while putting specific questions. ‘How can you do this? How can a state have a religious symbol? State should be completely blind to religion. ‘ Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Rajeeve Mehra, along with advocate Neeraj Chaudhary, appearing for the central government told the bench that the coins were issued under the Coinage Act to commemorate the occasion of silver jubilee of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board. Mehra said several other coins were issued under the Coinage Act and he will look into the matter and file the reply.

The court, however, said there is no need to issue coins to commemorate any occasions. ‘You need not put symbol like 100 years of something, 50 years of something,’ said the court while posting the matter for 23 April. The plea said the government in 2010 and 2013 came out with coins with religious symbols embossed on them, which should be withdrawn.
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