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Judiciary

Supreme Court refuses to consider plea for rights to Hindus like Muslims to manage religious places [Read Order]

By LAWSTREET NEWS NETWORK      19 October, 2023 05:41 PM      0 Comments
Supreme Court refuses to consider plea for rights to Hindus like Muslims to manage religious places Read Order

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday declined to consider a PIL seeking for Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, and Sikhs the right to establish, manage and maintain their religious places like Muslims, Parsis, and Christians.

A bench led by Chief Justice of India said this is a matter of policy and the court will not enter the legislative domain.

The bench, also comprising Justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra told advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, who filed the petition in his own name, that it cannot entertain a matter containing general prayers.

"What are these prayers? Can these reliefs be granted? Withdraw this petition and file a petition with prayers which can be granted,” the bench told the petitioner.

Finding the plea as all publicity-oriented, the court said the plea is not maintainable, and he can move Parliament or government.

The bench wondered how this prayer -- direct and declare that Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, Sikhs have similar rights to establish and maintain their religious places -- be granted, since the Constitution provided this right to everyone.

The bench said under Article 26 of the Constitution, the people have a right, every religious denomination has that right and the Constitution also gives a right under Article 25.

Upadhyay said a total of four Lakh temples are under government control but not a single mosque or church.

He said in Delhi, Kalka temple is under government control and Jama Masjid is not.

The bench said, this is all a matter of policy.

"We are not going to direct the government to do x, y, or z in terms of religious places. That is a matter of policy. We will not enter the legislative domain,” the bench said.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, said the petitioner may have a case but the way the petition is drafted is not correct.

“You are a lawyer practicing before our court, sometimes the manner in which you pursue a cause is equally important, just do not pursue a cause for highlighting in the press. You are before the Supreme Court, persuade with diligence. Look at other petitions, they have brought specific issues before us,” the bench said.  

Upadhyay finally agreed to withdraw the petition.

The petitioner also sought a uniform code for religious and charitable endowments and referred to the control of government authorities over Hindu temples across the country, unlike people of certain religious faiths who are allowed to manage their own institutions.

[Read Order] 



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