26 October 1964
Supreme Court


Case number: Appeal (civil) 562 of 1964






DATE OF JUDGMENT: 26/10/1964


CITATION:  1965 AIR 1179            1965 SCR  (1) 849  CITATOR INFO :  R          1969 SC 101  (13)

ACT: Constitution   (Scheduled  Castes)  Order,  1950   Para   3- "Profess", meaning of-Hindu-If includes Buddhist.

HEADNOTE: The appellant challenged the election of the 1st  respondent to  the, Legislative Assembly on the ground that the  latter had  embraced  Buddhism and had ceased to be a member  of  a Scheduled  caste  within  the meaning  of  the  Constitution (Scheduled  Castes)  Order, 1950, and was  thus  disentitled from  being  a  candidate  for  the  particular  seat.   The Election  Tribunal upheld the contention and set  aside  the election.    On  appeal,  the  High  court  held  that   the conversion  of the 1st respondent to Buddhism had  not  been established by evidence and upheld his election.  On  appeal to the Supreme Court, HELD : (i) The word "profess" in the Order means "to declare one’s  belief  in".   A declaration  of  one’s  belief  must necessarily  mean a declaration in such a way that it  would be  known  to those whom it may interest.  Therefore,  if  a public declaration is made by a person that he has ceased to belong to his old religion and has accepted another religion he  will be taken as professing the other religion.   It  is unnecessary to enquire further as to whether the  conversion to another religion was efficacious. [859 A-D] (ii)No  doubt  the definition of "Hindu"  contained  in  the Explanation  to Article25 is expanded but that is  only  for the  purposes of sub-cl. (2) of cl. (2)of that  Article  and for no other.  The mention of Sikh religion in Para 3of  the Order  clearly shows that the word "Hindu" in the  order  is used in the narrower sense of orthodox Hindu religion  which recognises  castes and contains injunctions based  on  caste distinctions.   It  is not comprehensive enough  to  include Buddhism. [859 H; 860 B-C] Karwade v. Shambhakar, I.L.R. 1959 Bom. 229 over-ruled.



JUDGMENT:    CIVIL  APPELLATE  JURISDICTION: Civil Appeal No.  562  of 1964. Appeal  by special leave from the judgment and order  dated’ February 7, 8, 1963, of the Bombay High Court (Nagpur Bench) at Nagpur in Appeal No. 115 of 1962. M.   C. Setalvad, N. L. Belekar, R. D. Awade and A. G.  Rat- naparkhi, for the appellant. N.   C.  Chatterjee,  V. S. Sawhney, S. S. Khanduja,  S.  K. Manchanda and Ganpat Rai, for respondent No. 1. 850 The Judgment of the Court was delivered by Mudholkar J. The question which arises for consideration  in this appeal by special leave from the judgment of the Bombay High  Court is whether respondent No. 1 Dr. D.  P.  Meshrarn was  entitled  to  be  a  candidate  for  election  to   the Maharashtra  Legislative Assembly from constituency No.  190 of  Nagpur III, a constituency reserved for candidates  from scheduled castes. The  appellant and respondents 1 to 4 were  candidates  duly nominated  for election to the Assembly from  the  aforesaid constituency.   The poll was taken on February 27, 1962  and respondent No. 1 who had polled the highest number of  votes was declared elected.  The appellant thereupon preferred  an election  petition before the Election Commission, the  main allegations in -which were (a) that respondent No. 1  having embraced  Buddhism  on  March 17, 1957 had ceased  to  be  a member  of  a  Scheduled Caste within  the  meaning  of  the Constitution  (Scheduled  Castes) Order, 1950 and  was  thus disentitled  from being a candidate for the particular  seat and (b) that respondent No. 1 was guilty of several  corrupt practices.   The Tribunal held that the  "Corrupt  practices alleged against respondent No. 1 were not established.   It, however,  came to the conclusion that respondent No.  1  had embraced  Buddhism  as  alleged by the  appellant  and  was, therefore,  not eligible for being a candidate for  election from  the  reserved  constituency.   Upon  this  ground  the Tribunal set aside the election of respondent No. 1. It  may be mentioned that the appellant had made a further prayer to the  effect that he should be declared elected to the  seat; but  this  prayer  was not granted by the  Tribunal  on  the ground that he was not the only other candidate for election and,  therefore,  it  cannot be said  how  the  votes  which respondent  No.  1 had secured would have  been  distributed among  the remaining candidates.  Aggrieved by the  decision of the Tribunal respondent No. 1 preferred an appeal  before the High Court of Bombay.  The only question which was urged before  the High Court was regarding the alleged  conversion of respondent No. 1 to Buddhism.  On that question the  High Court reversed the finding of the Tribunal and held that the fact had not been established by evidence.  The High  Court, therefore, upheld the election of respondent No. 1. In support of his contention that respondent No. 1. was con- verted  to  Buddhism  on March 17, 1957  the  appellant  had ,adduced evidence of P.W. 9 Ramrattan Janorkar, P.W. 2 Akant                             851 Mate,  P.W.  5  Devaji Bhagat and P.W.  10  Wasudeo  Dongre. Ramrattan  who  claims  to  be a Buddha  has  said  that  he presided  over a meeting held at Lashkari Bagh, Nagpur,  two or  three days after the Holi festival of the year  1957  at which  a mass conversion of persons belonging  to  Scheduled Castes  to Buddhism took place.. He named ten  persons  who, according to him, had been converted at that meeting, one of them  being  respondent No. 1. Amongst others named  by  him



were  P.W.  2 Akant Mate, P.W. 5 Devaji Bhagat and  P.W.  10 Wasudeo  Dongre.  These three persons have corroborated  the evidence  of  Ramrattan.   We have been  taken  through  the evidence  of  these witnesses and though there may  be  some contradictions  on minor points on the whole their  evidence is consistent and has a ring of truth in it.  Moreover,  the Tribunal  which  heard  and saw  the  witnesses  depose  has believed  in their veracity.  The High Court  has,  however, not  chosen  to accept their evidence mainly on  the  ground that  these witnesses belong to a party which is opposed  to respondent  No. 1 and his party.  It is not disputed  before us  that  these witnesses as well as respondent No.  1  were members of the Republican Party of India founded by the late Dr.  Ambedkar and that some time after his death  there  was rift  in  the  party as a result of which  two  groups  were formed.  The leader of one of these groups in Haridas  Awade and  that  of  the other is Khobargade.   Respondent  No.  1 belongs  to  the  group  headed  by  Khobargade  while   the appellant and the witnesses belong to the other group. We  agree with the High Court that we should not lose  sight of  this  fact.   In our opinion, however,  there  are  good grounds for accepting the evidence. In  the first place there is the fact, which is admitted  by respondent  No. 1 himself, that a mass conversion of a  very large number of persons belonging to the Scheduled Castes to Buddhism  took  place  at Nagpur on October 14,  1956  at  a meeting which was presided over by Dr. Ambedkar.  What  took place  at that meeting is set out in Ex. 66 which gives  ’an account  of the proceedings.  It says that about 5 lakhs  of persons attended the meeting.  At that meeting Dr.  Ambedkar was present along with Rev.  Mahesthavir Chandramani who  is a  Bhikku.  The Bhikku made Dr. Ambedkar and  Mrs.  Ambedkar recite  the three refuges (Thrisathi) and five  precepts  in Pali,  after which both of them garlanded the idol  of  Lord Buddha which had been installed in the pandal where Dr.  and Mrs.  Ambedkar, the Bhikku and other prominent  people  were sitting.  Dr. and Mrs. Ambed- 165-11 852 kar  then  took  22 vows, which apparently  he  had  himself prepared.   Thereafter  the mass-ordination  took  place  at which  those who, wished to be converted recited  the  three refuges  three  times.  This event had  attracted  attention throughout the country and was given wide -,publicity,  by-- the  press  which  was  well  represented  at  the  meeting. Respondent No. 1 has admitted that he was a member, ,of  Dr. Ambedkar’s party at that time and though he could not attend the  conversion ceremony -he had  not.-dissociated  himself, from it.  According to him the reason why he did not  attend thee  ceremony  was  that he was then,  busy  with,,  making arrangements.. at the, water works. for the supply of  water to  the  lakhs  of people, most of whom had  come  from  the neighbouring villages to attend the ceremony.  It is in  the evidence  of  witnesses  that  at  least  lakhs  of  persons belonging to the Scheduled Castes were converted to Buddhism at  that  meeting and that the work of  conversion  went  on even,  after October 14, 1956 for quite some time.   Another factor  to  be  borne  in mind  is  that  prominent  persons belonging  to  there  Scheduled  Castes  were  converted  to Buddhism and it would be highly improbable, that  respondent No. 1 who was a prominent member, of the.  Scheduled  Castes in  Nagpur  and  a  follower of  Dr.,  Ambedkar  would  have remained  aloof from the movement started by  Dr.  Ambedkar. The  main  object  of Dr. Ambedkar was  to  secure  for  the members  of  the  Scheduled Castes  an  honorable  place  in



society  and  he felt that the various  disabilities  placed upon  members of these castes were due to the fact  that  in Hindu  religion  to  which  they  belonged,  they  had  been accorded  the  lowest rank in society with the  result  that they had come to be regarded as untouchables.   Undoubtedly, the  caste  system has virtually come to be regarded  as  an essential  feature  of  Hindu society  and,  therefore,  Dr. Ambedkar felt that the only way open to members belonging to the  lowest group was to sever their  connection  completely from  such  a society.  He found that Buddhism, the  way  or path  of peace, not only, offered solace to the  spirit  but also  social equality to all its members.  Dr. Ambedkar  was the unquestioned leader of the Scheduled Castes, at any rate in Maharashtra.  It would, therefore, not be unreasonable to infer  that those who had accepted his leadership and  those who  in  addition  held  prominent  places  amongst   people belonging to the Scheduled Castes should follow Dr. Ambedkar and renouncing Hinduism embrace like him, Buddhism.  If this probability  is borne in mind the evidence of the  witnesses who  have  deposed to the fact of the actual  conversion  of respondent  No.  1  to Buddhism  would  become  more  easily acceptable. 853 That,  however, is not all.  Corroboration of this  evidence was sought to be supplied by the appellant from the  conduct of respondent No. 1 subsequent to his conversion.  For  this purpose he has relied upon three matters: One is the signing of  a declaration by respondent No. 1 along with some  other persons to the effect that he had embraced Buddhism and that he,  therefore,  ceased  to be any longer a  member  of  the Scheduled  Castes;  the  second  is  a  wedding   invitation subscribed to, amongst_others, by respondent No. 1 on  which the  picture of Lord Buddha is inscribed: and the  third  is the   conversion  of  a  Shiva  temple  situate   near   the appellant’s house to a Buddha temple. The declaration is Ex. 42 and is dated July 5, 1957.  It  is to the following effect: "To whomsoever it may concern:- We,  the  following signatories, do hereby  affirm  that  we embraced  Buddha religion on 17-3-1957 and no  longer  since remain Harijans." Then follow the names of ten persons, including P.W. 2 Akant Mate, P.W. 5 Devaji Bhagat and P.W. 10 Dongre.  Each of them has  signed therein against his name.  The reason  why  this declaration  came  into  existence  is,  according  to   the appellant, the following: Elections  had taken place to the Nagpur Corporation  and  a meeting  was  held  on July 5, 1957  for  selection  of  six additional  members.   One of the Corporators,  Mr.  Udhoji, raised a point of order to the effect that no member of  the Scheduled  Castes having been elected to the  Corporation  a person belonging to the Scheduled Castes was required to  be selected  under  the  provisions  of  the  Nagpur  Municipal Corporation  Act.  Respondent No. 1 was one of  the  persons who  had  already been elected to the  Corporation  and  was present  at the meeting.  He, however, did not  contest  the statement  of  Mr.  Udhoji  to the  effect  that  no  person belonging   to  the  Scheduled  Castes  had  been   elected. Apparently, the point of order was disallowed and  selection of  six  members,  none of whom belonged  to  the  Scheduled Castes, took place.  Immediately thereafter the  declaration referred  to  above  was signed by  ten  persons,  including respondent No. 1, who had all been elected as members of the Municipal Corporation at the Corporation election.  This was filed along with the writ petition presented before the High



Court in which the selection made at the meeting of July  5, was sought to be quashed on the ground 854 that  no  person  belonging to a Scheduled  Caste  had  been selected.   Respondent  No.1 admits that he  did  sign  this declaration but in his written statement the reason given by him  is  that he did so under political  pressure.   In  his evidence,  however,  he has given a  different  explanation. This is what he has said :               "Akant  Mate came there with some writing  and               told  us  that  it was the  directive  of  the               Scheduled   Castes  Federation  that   members               elected on its tickets should sign it.                .........  I  do  not know how  he  got  that               directive  from the Federation, and from  whom               he  got it.  The writing was in English and  I               signed  upon  it.  Akant Mate told me  that  I               should  sign on the document, he would go  and               get  signatures of other Corporators and  give               it  in  the Corporation office.  I  could  not               myself read the English typewritten  material.               Akant  Mate told me that the President of  the               meeting gave the ruling in the information  by               the Commissioner that I and Mate’ were members               of  the Scheduled Caste and that if this  were               not  so,  we  would be able to  get  one  more               member  and, therefore, I should sign  on  the               document.  My consent was not taken for filing               the declaration in the High Court.  I was  not               a party to the proceedings in the High  Court,               in  connection with which the declaration  was               taken." What  he  has said is, in substance, that he  was  duped  by Akant Mate.  There is thus a variation between his  pleading and  the proof adduced and in the circumstances we  will  be justified   in   rejecting  his   explanation.    Once   the explanation  is rejected the declaration must be taken  into account as a piece of corroboration of the fact that he  had ceased to be a Hindu as he had been converted to Buddhism. Respondent  No. 1 does not deny that the wedding  invitation placed  on record by the appellant bears his name as one  of the  hosts.  The invitation pertains to the wedding  of  his daughters  Lalita  and  Pushpa  Lata  and  their  respective bridegrooms were Sirish and Yashwant Rao.  At the top of the invitation  are  the usual words "Subh  Langna"  (auspicious wedding).   Then there is a picture of Lord Buddha  followed by  the  inscription "May victory and prosperity  by  yours- Obeisances  to  Buddha".   It is well known  that  in  Hindu weddings  the invitations issued in an Indian  language  the picture of the Kuladaivata is generally printed 855 and  the  blessings  of the Kuladaivata  are  invoked.   Had respondent  No. 1 considered himself to be a Hindu he  would have  followed the usual practice.  No doubt,  sophisticated people,  though  still  belonging to  Hindu  religion,  have discarded the practice of printing the picture of the family deity  on wedding invitations and of invoking the  blessings of  the  deity.  Respondent No. 1 does not suggest  that  he belongs to that class.  Indeed, if that were so, there would have  been no occasion to print the picture of  Lord  Buddha and  seek his blessings.  In this invitation the picture  of the  Kuladaivata  was substituted by that  of  Lord  Buddha. This is more consistent with Respondent No. 1 having  become a Buddhist than with his remaining a Hindu. According to respondent No. 1 he did not know till after the



Sakshyagandh (engagement) was over that either of the bride- grooms  was  a  Buddhist.  He says that a  week  before  the marriages  someone from the side of the bridegrooms met  him and told him that the weddings had to be performed according to  the  Buddhist  ritual and if he was  not  agreeable  the engagements would be broken off.  It was then that he  first thought  that the bridegrooms were Buddhists.   However,  he did not think it proper to break off the engagements.   Now, if  he were still a Hindu belonging to the Scheduled  Castes it  is unlikely that he would have reconciled  himself  with the idea of giving his daughters in marriage to  non-Hindus, more  particularly  when the bridegrooms’ side  insisted  on following  the Buddhist ritual.  He has, no doubt, tried  to give an explanation for this curious conduct by saying  that he  treated Lord Buddha as the "11th (sic) incarnation"  and that  is  why he had Lord Buddha’s picture  printed  on  the wedding  invitation.   That  explanation  cannot  be  easily accepted. As  regards the third circumstance there is the evidence  of Budhaji  Godbole,  P.W. 11, and Kisan Shende,  P.W.  14,  in addition  to  that  of the  appellant.   According  to  them respondent  No. 1 converted the Shiva Temple in  Gautamnagar into  Buddha  temple  on June 6,  1959  and  installed  Lord Buddha’s  image at a function over which he presided and  at which Dr. Y. B. Ambedkar, President of Buddhist Society  was present.   Respondent No. 1 had admitted most of the  facts, as  pointed  out by the High Court  itself.   The  variation between  the contentions of the parties is this.   According to  respondent No. 1 there was a Shiva Temple on a  plot  of land  in Gaddigudam at Nagpur.  While laying a new  road  in the year 1932 or so this plot was 856 taken  over  by the Nazul authorities and another  plot  was given  for the Shiva Temple in exchange.  But  according  to him,  no Shiva Temple was at all constructed or  Shiva  Ling installed  therein.   This is obviously untrue.   He  admits that this plot " was managed by a Panch Committee" of  which he  was a member.  For, without constructing a Shiva  Temple on  the plot there could have been nothing to manage by  the Panch  Committee.   No  doubt, he says  that  while  he  was Chairman  of that Committee in the year 1959 or 1960 it  was decided  to  construct a Shiva Temple thereon.   But  it  is difficult  to believe that the people of the locality  would have waited for 28 years for taking the decision.  He admits that  a  temple  dedicated to Lord  Buddha  was  constructed thereon  as alleged by the appellant and his witnesses.   It seems  clear that the decision of the committee to which  he refers related to the construction of this temple and not to a Shiva Temple which was already there.  The evidence led on behalf of the appellant was to the effect that at the  cere- mony  held on June 6, 1959 the idol of Lord Buddha  was  in- stalled  above the Shiva Linga, presumably  meaning  thereby that  the Shiva Linga was overlaid with earth or bricks  and on  the  top of it the image of Lord Buddha  was  installed. Referring  to  the  evidence of Shende the  High  Court  has observed:               "The witness however does not say that he  saw               the removal of the old image of Lord Shiva  or               the  Ling  and the Pinda  which  were  already               there.   On the other hand it is the  case  of               Meshram that the Corporation had already given               another  plot  to which the Shiva  Mandir  had               long  before been shifted and since this  plot               was  idle, he gave it for the installation  of               Buddha’s idol."



The  observation  of  the High Court  underlined  by  us  is apparently  based  on  a  misreading  of  the  evidence   of respondent  No. 1 and also ignores his plea on the point  in his  written statement.  It is not his case that  two  plots were  allotted for a Shiva Temple one of which  was  vacant. His  case,  as already stated, was that the  plot  given  in exchange for the old one was never utilised and not that two plots  were  given, one of which was utilised.   Again,  the High Court has failed to appreciate properly the evidence of Budhaji Godbole.  What he has said is this               "One  house away from the house of  respondent               No. 1 is a plot of land on which then stood  a               Shiva Temple.  This plot stood in the name  of               the respondent                                    857               No.  1.  In that temple was Ling and  Pind  of               Shiva...... From 6-6-1959 this temple has  now               become  Buddha Vihar.  On that day,  the  Ling               and  Pind  were put underground  and  at  that               place  was  installed idol of God  Buddha  The               installation  of the image of God  Buddha  was               done  by  Bhaiyasaheb Ambedkar.   It  was  the               respondent No. 1 who was the principal man  in               converting  the  Shiva temple  into  a  Buddha               Vihar." There  is no suggestion in his cross-examination  that  this witness had no personal knowledge of what he had deposed to. Since  he has clearly spoken about the burial of  the  Shiva Linga  and the installation of the image of Lord  Buddha  on top of it, he must be understood to mean that this was  what happened  in  his presence and also in  that  of  respondent No.1.  Incidentally, it may be stated that this  witness  is also a convert to Buddhism.  A reference may also be made to the  evidence  of  the  other  witness  Kisan  Shende.   The relevant portion of his deposition is as follows :               "The respondent No. 1 was the President of the               function.  The idol of Buddha was installed by               Bhaiyasaheb  Ambedkar on an ota which  covered               the old Ling and Pind representing God Shiv This  part  of  evidence  of  this  witness  has  not   been challenged  in  cross-examination.  There is no  reason  why this  evidence ought not to be accepted,  particularly  when some of the essential facts deposed to by the witnesses have been  admitted  by respondent No. 1 himself.  If  we  accept this  evidence then the only conclusion which can emerge  is that  respondent  No.  1 had ceased to  be  a  Hindu.   For, however great the admiration or regard a Hindu may have  for Lord  Buddha, he would shudder at the idea of desecrating  a Shiva  Linga in this manner or even of converting  what  was once a Shiva temple into a Buddhist temple.  In our opinion, this  would be the strongest circumstance corroborating  the evidence  of  eye-witnesses  regarding  the  conversion   of respondent No. 1 to Buddhism. It is contended on behalf of respondent No. 1 that there  is a register of persons who had been converted to Buddhism and that the first respondent’s name does not appear there.   It is  true that R.W. 5 Waman Godbole speaks of  some  register but  his  evidence clearly shows that the  register  is  not regularly  maintained nor are the signatures of persons  who had been converted 858 taken  according  to  the dates  of  conversion.   There  is nothing  to show that it was obligatory on every person  who had  been  converted to sign in the register.   Moreover,  a signature  in such a register would at best be only a  piece



of  evidence  of the fact of conversion  and  nothing  more. Absence  of a person’s signature in the register  would  not necessarily negative his being at all converted to Buddhism. Then it is said that only Bhikku is entitled to convert non- Buddhists to Buddhism.  There is abundant evidence on record that at the conversion ceremony held on October 14, 1956 Dr. Ambedkar  had  told the new Buddhists that any one  who  had become  a  Buddhist  could  admit  others  to  the  fold  of Buddhism.   Apart from that we have been shown no  authority to the effect that a person cannot become a Buddhist  unless he  is converted to Buddhism by a Bhikku.  Buddhism  was  in essence  also a protest against orthodoxy and the  power  of the priesthood.  It would, therefore, be strange to say that for  a non-Buddhist to become a Buddhist  strict  compliance with rituals is necessary.  It is in evidence that at  every conversion  three  vows  had  been  repeated  thrice.   Five precepts had also to be repeated by those who offered  them- selves  for conversion.  This was exactly what was  done  by Dr.  Ambedkar,  his wife and others at the mass  meeting  on October 14, 1956 and it is not suggested that what they  did was inadequate and so they cannot be deemed to have embraced Buddhism  from that date.  It is, therefore, futile  to  say that  others  who went through the same  procedure  had  not become Buddhists merely because no Bhikku had officiated  at the function. What  cl. (3) of the Constitution (Scheduled Castes)  Order, 1950 contemplates is that for a person to be treated as  one belonging  to a Scheduled Caste within the meaning  of  that Order  he  must be one who professes either  Hindu  or  Sikh religion.  The High Court, following its earlier decision in Karwade  v. Shambhakar(1) has said that the meaning  of  the phrase   "professes  a  religion"  in   the   aforementioned provision is "to enter publicly into a religious state"  and that  for this purpose a mere declaration by person that  he has  ceased to belong to a particular religion and  embraced another  religion would not be sufficient.  The meanings  of the  word  "profess" have been given thus in  Webster’s  New Word  Dictionary  :  "to  avow publicly;  to  make  an  open declaration  of;...... to declare one’s belief in :  as,  to profess (1)  I.L.R. 1959 Bom.. 229.                             859 Christ.   To  accept into a religious order."  The  meanings given in the Shorter Oxford Dictionary are more or less  the same.   It  seems to us that the meaning "to  declare  one’s belief  in : as to profess Christ" is one which we  have  to bear in mind while construing the aforesaid order because it is  this which bears upon religious belief and  consequently also  upon  a  change,in religious belief.   It  would  thus follow  that a declaration of one’s belief must  necessarily mean  a declaration in such a way that it would be known  to those  whom  it  may  interest.   Therefore,  if  a   public declaration is made by a person that he has ceased to belong to  his  old religion and has accepted another  religion  he will be taken as professing the other religion.  In the face of  such  an open declaration it would be  idle  to  enquire further as to whether the conversion to another religion was efficacious.   The word "profess" in the Presidential  Order appears  to  have  been  used  in  the  sense  of  an   open declaration  or  practice by a person of the Hindu  (or  the Sikh)  religion.   Where, therefore, a person says,  on  the contrary, that he, has ceased to be a Hindu he cannot derive any benefit from that Order. Finally  it is argued that the word Hindu  is  comprehensive enough  to  include a Buddhist and in  this  connection  our



attention is invited to Explanation 11 to cl. (2) of Art. 25 of  the  Constitution.  Clause (1) of  Art.  25  recognises, amongst  other  things, freedom to  practise  and  propagate religion.  Sub-clause  (b) of cl. (2) runs thus :               "Nothing  in  this article  shall  affect  the               operation  of any existing law or prevent  the               State from making any law-               (b)   providing for social welfare and  reform               or  the  throwing  open  of  Hindu   religious               institutions  of  a public  character  to  all               classes and sections of Hindus."               Explanation II’ reads thus :               "In   sub-clause  (b)  of  clause   (2),   the               reference  to  Hindus shall  be  construed  as               including  a reference to  persons  professing               the Sikh, Jaina or Buddhist religion, and  the               reference  to  Hindu  religious   institutions               shall be construed accordingly." The definition of Hindu is expanded for the special purposes of  sub-cl.  (b)  of cl. (2) of Art. 25 and  for  no  other. Paragraph  3  of the Constitution (Scheduled  Castes)  Order reads thus 860 .lm15 "Notwithstanding  anything  contained  in  paragraph  2,  no person who professes a religion different from the Hindu  or the  Sikh  religion  shall be deemed to be  a  member  of  a Scheduled Caste." If  it  was  intended that the word  "Hindu"  used  in  this paragraph  should  have a wide meaning similar  to  that  in Explanation 11 just quoted the re would have been no need to make  a mention of the Sikh religion.  From the fact that  a special mention is made of the Sikh religion it would follow that  the word "Hindu" is used in the narrower sense of  the orthodox Hindu religion which recognises castes and contains injunctions based on caste distinctions. For  the foregoing reasons we are satisfied that  respondent No.   1  had  ceased  to  be a Hindu  at  the  date  of  his nomination  and that consequently he was ineligible to be  a candidate  for  election from a  constituency  reserved  for members  of  Scheduled  Castes.  In  the  circumstances  the Tribunal   was   right  in  setting  aside   his   election. Accordingly  we allow the appeal, set aside the judgment  of the  High  Court and restore that of  the  Tribunal.   Costs throughout will be borne by respondent No. 1. Appeal allowed. 861