ASIA/INDIA - The High Court: It is legitimate to declare that one does not belong to any religion

Bombay - The Bombay High Court has ruled that the State cannot "compel any citizen to disclose his religion while submitting forms or declarations": the decision reaffirms the secular character of Indian democracy and puts an end to a dispute that is recorded in other Asian countries .
The Court of Bombay issued a verdict after the appeal filed by three citizens, Ranjit Mohite, Kishore Nazare and Subhash Ranware, who had sought to declare via a Gazette notification that they belong to "no religion". The court ruled that every citizen in India has the right constitutionally enshrined to say that he does not belong to any religion. With reference to Article 25 of the Constitution, which guarantees the right to freedom of conscience, the Court established the right to openly choose to declare if one belongs or professes any religion. And no state authority can violate the rights of a person guaranteed under Article 25, which protects freedom of conscience.
As reported to Fides, the three petitioners of the appeal belong to an organization called "Full Gospel Church of God", which has 4,000 members. Although the name of this organization suggests that it may be a Christian group, the organization claims to "believe in Jesus Christ but does not believe in the Christian religion", and do not wish to identify themselves as followers of any religion.