Safety of Children to Be Given Priority in Mohorrum Procession Irrespective of Religion: Bombay High Court

Recently, a Public Interest Litigation was filed by Abdul Qureshi and Faisal Banarasiwalla for the purpose of saving children from the danger caused from weapons, knife, blades etc while participating in Moharrum procession. The case came before Justice V M Kanade and Justice Revati Mohite Dere who was of the outlook that the safety of small kids irrespective of religion is essential. Advocate General Sunil Manohar guaranteed that the video of the procession will be taken and fundamental measures will be assured during procession. He also applied before the Court not to pass any order at present and to grant permission to carry on the procession as decided earlier.

In addition, he promised to talk with the religious leaders and take all safety measures for children. The Mohorrum procession is scheduled to be conducted on December 14. As the issue is sensitive, the Court held that it does not want to impede with the right to freedom of religion of any person as provided under the Constitution. But some reasonable restrictions can be imposed for public good. The Court said that it will pass orders only after hearing both sides. Even though we belong to a secular state, the law is extended to all the people and the security and concern of kids irrespective of the religion is pertinent.

The lawyers for the Shia organizations submitted that from 1300 years, the Shia people are following this practice and challenged the Sunni people to give report of even a single death. But the judges stated that the matter is regarding the involvement of children. This issue is to be settled by deliberations with various religious heads who are well conscious of the matter, the court added. The Court hence posted the PIL on January 13 after the procession. Direction was also issued to the State to file additional affidavit subsequent to the conduct of procession. After hearing, the Court will come to a conclusion regarding the participation of children in Mohorrum procession.