Supreme Court removes ban on Jains’ death fast

MERAjainfastgThe Supreme Court has suspended an order of the Rajasthan high court banning santhara – the controversial Jain ritual of fasting unto death.

Earlier the court had ruled that the religious practice of santhara was a form of suicide and therefore illegal. The Jains had protested saying suicide was a sin but santhara is religion. Consequently the court said it would take up the issue for consideration.

Legal experts say they expect the case to take several years to come to a conclusion.

Jainism is one of the world’s most ancient religions and santhara is a practice in which a Jain gives up food and water with the intention of preparing for death.