The Supreme Court has said that burqa- clad women cannot be issued voter identity cards, rejecting the argument that religion prohibits them from lifting their veils.
Counsel for petitioner M Ajam Khan had contended that asking 'purdah-nashin' women to lift their veil for being photographed would amount to sacrilege as their photographs would be seen by many men working as polling agents and electoral officials.
"It will hurt their religious sentiments and the Election Commission must not insist on 'purdah-nashin' women to be photographed for inclusion of their name in the electoral rolls," said the counsel arguing before a Bench comprising Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan and Justice Deepak Verma.
The argument on behalf of the petitioners failed to impress the SC. The Bench said: "If you have such strong religious sentiments, and do not want to be seen by members of public, then do not go to vote. You cannot go with burqa to vote. It will create complications in identification of voters."