Special Correspondent

Frowns on superstition

  • This kind of superstition should not be encouraged: Bench
  • ``Not annulling the superstitious practice will be a blot on the court''

    New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Kerala High Court to set right its decision not to have `Court No. 13' in the High Court halls based on superstition that 13 is an `evil' number.

    A Bench comprising Chief Justice Y.K. Sabharwal, and Justices C.K. Thakker and R.V. Raveendran told senior counsel T.V. Vishwanath Iyer that the "High Court is an institution. It should not be allowed to encourage this sort of superstition. You give a message to the High Court to set it right."

    The Bench, after hearing K. Rajeev, counsel for the petitioner, admitted an appeal preferred by N.K. Chandramohan challenging a High Court order rejecting his plea to assign number l3 to one of the court halls in the new building.

    The High Court, while dismissing the petition, also imposed costs of Rs. 10,000 on the petitioner and he paid the amount.

    Assailing the February 14 judgment, Mr. Chandramohan contended that while assigning numbers to various court halls in Ernakulam, skipping 13 was nothing but a superstition originating from an irrational fear of things or events associated with that number.

    He said it was unfortunate that the High Court, a temple of justice, should function in a building that was run on the basis of superstition while assigning the numbers. If the superstitious practice was not annulled, it would be a blot on the name of the High Court.

    Mr. Chandramohan said the fear of number 13 (known as Triskaidekaphobia) originated from concepts of Christianity, "which had no theological or philosophical support from the authorities of the same." The fear was against the concept of secularism, he said.