The Nagpur bench of the Bombay high court on Tuesday asked the BJP-ruled Nagpur Municipal Corporation if "India was for Hindus only".
The bench was hearing a PIL filed by senior RPI leader Janardhan Moon over the NMC's plan to recite the Hanuman Chalisa at an AIDS awareness event in association with religious charity Poddareshwar Ram Mandir Trust, according to the Hindustan Times.
The bench, comprising justices Bhushan Gavai and Swapna Joshi, said: "Why only recital of Hanuman Chalisa and why not from Quran, the Bible or other religious literature? What is the link between AIDS awareness and Hanuman Chalisa recital? Is it only Hindus who contract AIDS? Is chanting of Hanuman Chalisa the only remedy for eradication of this deadly disease?"
The PIL was rejected after the NMC as well as the convenor of the programme, Dayashankar Tiwari, the ruling party's leader in the civic body, agreed to disassociate the AIDS awareness and the Hanuman Chalisa events.
During the hearing, the judges said they were concerned with government agencies associating with religious programmes.