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Politicians can't seek votes in the name of caste or religion, rules the SC ahead of polls in 5 states
In a landmark judgment today, the Supreme Court has ruled that politicians are barred from seeking votes in the name of religion, caste or creed.

The apex court's bench said today with a 4:3 majority that elections are a secular exercise. The court also said that the relationship between people and who they worship was a matter of personal choice. Therefore, the state is forbidden to interfere in any such activity, the court said.

A 7-judge constitution bench passed this judgment after listening to detailed arguments from various petitioners and respondents in the Hindutva case.

The SC said that it was a corrupt practice to seek votes in the name of caste, religion and language and could not be allowed. The court has now given a wider meaning to Section 123 of the Representation of the People Act by stamping out the use of religion and community affiliation from the elections.

While Chief Justice TS Thakur, justices MB Lokur, SA Bobde and LN Rao were in favour of rooting out religion from politics, justices AK Goel, UU Lalit and DY Chandrachud were opposed to it.

This crucial judgment comes just ahead of upcoming Assembly elections in five states.

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