//Thirteen may not be unlucky number for India's legal system

Thirteen may not be unlucky number for India's legal system

JUSTICE in India involves endless patience and a little luck, but the country's top judges have decided there is no room for superstition.

The Supreme Court has encouraged a private plea from a man in the southern state of Kerala who argued that not to have a court numbered 13 ran counter to the country's secular constitution as it was based on a fear implicit in Christian thought.

As in many other countries, Indian buildings rarely have a 13th floor, hotels rarely have a room number 13 and aircraft do not have a 13th row of seats.

In February, local judges rejected NK Chandramohan's plea as "frivolous" and fined him 10,000 rupees (£118) for trying to "malign" them. Yesterday, however, the Supreme Court begged to differ.

A three-member bench in New Delhi said it would hear the case again soon.

Sociologists have many theories as to the provenance of the belief in the negative powers of the number 13.

Some say it is based on ancient pagan beliefs but others argue it stems from the Biblical story that 13 people attended the Last Supper of Jesus Christ.

"The High Court is one of the instrumentalities of the state and cannot have any peculiar affinity or hatred to the outlook and belief of a particular religion," Mr Chandramohan said in his petition.