The Supreme Court, which is hearing a controversial issue related to electoral malpractices arising out of its 1995 verdict on Hindutva, claimed on Tuesday that it was not ready to examine the issue of religion at this stage.
"We will not go into the larger debate as to what is Hindutva or what is its meaning. We will not re-consider the 1995 judgement and also not examine Hindutva or religion at this stage," a seven-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur said.
"At this stage, we will confine ourselves to the issue raised before us in the reference. In the reference, there is no mention of the word 'Hindutva'.
If anybody will show that there is a reference to the word 'Hindutva', we will hear him. We will not go into Hindutva at this stage," the bench, which also comprised Justices M B Lokur, S A Bobde, A K Goel, U U Lalit, D Y Chandrachud and L Nageshwar Rao, said.
The remarks were made by the bench when, at the outset of the hearing, some advocates sought to intervene in the ongoing hearing which commenced last Tuesday.
Social activist Teesta Setalvad had moved the apex court to intervene in the ongoing debate over links between politicians and religious leaders and sought a ban on the use of "Hindutva" interchangeably with Hinduism in elections in the country.
Her application stated that religion and politics should not be mixed.
After making the remarks, the bench resumed the hearing with senior advocate Shyam Divan continuing with his submissions.
With PTI inputs