SC Rejects PIL Seeking Rights for Hindus to Manage Religious Places
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The Supreme Court’s recent refusal to entertain a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking rights for Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, and Sikhs to manage their religious places akin to Muslims, Parsis, and Christians has drawn attention to the complexities of religious governance in India.
Advocate Ashwini Upadhyay had filed the PIL, contending that the right to manage institutions, as guaranteed under Article 26, is a natural right applicable to all communities. The plea emphasized the need for parity and a uniform code for religious and charitable endowments.
However, the bench, led by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, dismissed the petition, labeling it as ‘publicity-oriented litigation.’ The court firmly asserted that the matter falls under the domain of the legislature, highlighting its reluctance to interfere. The court urged the petitioner to file a more substantiated petition that could be considered.
The plea underscored the disparities in the management of religious institutions, highlighting that Hindu, Jain, Buddhist, and Sikh communities have reportedly been denied the right to manage their religious places, contrasting with other religious groups. It pointed out that a significant portion of Hindu temples, approximately four lakh out of nine lakh temples across the nation, are under governmental control.
Call for Substantiated Petitions
In addition to Upadhyay’s plea, the Supreme Court also rejected a similar petition presented by Hindu seer Swami Jeetendranand Saraswatee, demonstrating the court’s consistent stance on the matter.
The decision underscores the complexities surrounding the governance of religious institutions and the need for a more nuanced legal approach to address the concerns and disparities highlighted in the PIL.
Source: Indian Express