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PTI | Shillong | May 26, 2019

The Meghalaya High Court has set aside a controversial judgement made by Justice SR Sen, its former judge, observing that India should have been declared a ‘Hindu country’ after partition.

A division bench headed by Chief Justice Mohammad Yaqoob Mir found the judgement “legally flawed” and inconsistent with the constitutional principles.

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In a judgement in December last year, a single judge bench of Justice Sen had observed that India, if divided on the basis of religion, should have been declared a Hindu country.

“After bestowing our thoughtful consideration to the entire gamut of the matter we have reached to a firm conclusion that the judgment impugned dated 10.12.2018 is legally flawed and is inconsistent with constitutional principles, the observations made and directions passed therein are totally superfluous, therefore, is set aside in its entirety,” the bench said in an order on Friday.

While disposing of a petition by a person who was denied domicile certificate by the Meghalaya government, Justice Sen had also observed that anyone opposing Indian laws and the Constitution should not be considered a citizen of India.

The judgement faced criticism from various quarters forcing him to issue a clarification four days later, saying his judgment was neither politically motivated nor influenced by any party.

In his judgement, Justice Sen had also set aside two notifications issued by the Meghalaya government relating to issuance of permanent residence certificate/domicile certificates.

The division bench, however, observed that setting aside of the two notifications without any challenge was “impermissible” and “not sustainable”.

Justice Sen had also directed the Centre to enact a law to safeguard the interests of Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Christians, Parsis, Khasis and Garos who have already come to India and who are yet to come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan as well as Persons of Indian Origin who are residing abroad.

Any observation which directly or indirectly offends the preamble of the Constitution cannot be sustained, the division bench said, adding that the directions of the single judge bench offended the “secular colour of the country and the provisions of the Constitution of India”.

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