New Delhi: The Supreme Court today declined to entertain a PIL to stop the use of names and images of Gods and Goddesses for commercial exploitation, saying "this country has 33,000 crores of Gods."
"It is a case of faith of people," a bench comprising Chief Justice H L Dattu and Justices Arun Mishra and Amitava Roy observed while making it clear that citizens cannot be restrained from carrying their business enterprises on the names of any God or Goddess in which they have belief and faith.
"A businessman can keep the name of Laxmi stores. Can he not name his daughter Laxmi," the bench asked the lawyer arguing the matter Further, it asked why a person be stopped naming the God or putting the image of any God on the nameplates or packaging.
"I like to worship that God. I want to put the name and I want to have the image of that particular God. How can somebody stop," the bench said. It said a person who is a follower of Lord Balaji can name his son and carry his business in the name of Balaji.
"You have raised the issue with concerns the faiths of people. This country has 33,000 crores of Gods. Sorry," the bench said and dismissed the petition.