Representational picture. (Courtesy: AFP)
It is fine to use pictures of Gods and Goddesses for commercial products, the Supreme Court said today, dismissing a petition that asked for a ban.
"There are 33,000 crore Gods and Goddesses and everybody is to free to have their images. How can we say that there should be no image of God for the whole country?" Chief Justice of India HL Dattu said.
A petition had sought a ban on the use of images of Gods on products, arguing that it is disrespectful.
The petitioner said he was "aggrieved" that pictures of Gods were printed on puja articles, food items, spices, medicines and clothes.
The Chief Justice responded: "A businessman may say I am a devotee of Lord Balaji or Goddess Lakshmi and I have named by son and daughter in these names. What is wrong if I use the God's pictures with these names in the name-plate, car or the products? What is wrong with it? Why should we restrain people from using picture of God?"
The court said businessmen may feel if they had God's pictures on their products, it would help their business. "This relates to the faith of the people. People worship Lord Balaji. Can we say don't worship Balaji? How can we say that he should not have the image of Balaji in his product? Suppose the businessman has an image of Balaji on his key chain, can we say don't put such images on the key chain?" the Chief Justice said.