Gauhati High Court: While deciding this interesting writ petition praying for the issuance of the writ of Mandamus directing to set aside Section 6 Form 1 of the Oath Act, 1969 and Rule 30 Chapter IV of the Gauhati High Court Rule 2015 and declare the provisions as unconstitutional for being ultra vires the Arts. 25 and 26 of the Constitution; the Division Bench of R.M. Chhaya, C.J., and Soumitra Saikia, J., dismissed the petition stating that in the whole petition there is no whisper about the fact as to how the petitioner is affected; therefore no cause has arisen as such. However, given the general nature of the question raised in the petition, the Bench deemed it fit to keep it open.

Section 6 of the Oaths Act 1969 provides that all oaths and affirmations made under Section 4 of the 1969 Act shall be administered according to one of the forms given in the Schedule as may be appropriate to the circumstances of the case.

Form 1 of the 1969 Act provides that witnesses have to- solemnly affirm /swear in the name of God that what I shall state, shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth

The petitioner-in-person, F.Z. Mazumder, stated that he is a secular, liberal and a scientific- minded citizen, and not a believer in any supernatural power or entity. It was stated that the petitioner personally believes that humanity and brotherhood are greater than any religion, and does not observe any religious rituals.

It was averred that since the petitioner does not believe in the existence of God, therefore, Section 6 Form 1 of the Oaths Act, 1969 is ultra-vires the Arts 25 and 26 of the Constitution.

The Court while considering the petition noted that the petitioner is a respected member of the Bar; however, he has not given any factual basis with regard to deprivation of any right which is enshrined under Arts. 25 and 26 of the Constitution. It was further noted that the affidavit in the instant petition has been permitted without adhering to Form No. 1 as provided under the proviso to Section 6 of the Oaths Act, 1969.

Therefore, in absence of any factual basis in the contentions, the Court refused to consider the petition.

[Fazluzzaman Mazumder v. Union of India, 2022 SCC OnLine Gau 1654, decided on 14-11-2022]

Advocates who appeared in this case :

F.Z. Mazumder, Petitioner-in-person;

R.K.D. Choudhury, Deputy Solicitor General of India, for the Respondent No. 1;

R.K. Bora, Additional Senior Government Advocate, Assam for the Respondent No. 2;

U.K. Nair, senior counsel assisted by A. Chakraborty, counsel for the Respondent No. 3.

*Sucheta Sarkar, Editorial Assistant has put this report together.

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