Tamil Nadu: Encroachment Of Land Belonging To Religious Institutions Now Cognizable, Non-Bailable OffenceRamanathaswamy Temple on the island of Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu. (@thetemplesindia/Twitter)

The Tamil Nadu assembly passed an amendment to the Tamil Nadu Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Act, 1959 on Monday that seeks to make encroachment of properties that belong to religious institutions a non-bailable and cognizable offence.

The law now allows anyone interested in religious institution matters to file a complaint against the encroachers.

PK Sekarbabu, Minister for Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department, tabled this particular bill and even termed the encroachment of properties of religious institutions as an issue that is ‘serious in nature, Times Now reports.

“It is brought to notice of the government that encroachments of properties belonging to religious institutions are on the increase,” the minister was quoted in a report by the aforementioned publication.

He added, “Hence, it is considered that criminal complaint may be lodged by any person having interest in the affairs of the religious institution against the encroachers. The government have, therefore, decided to make the above said offence as cognisable and non-bailable and to amend section 79-B of the said Act for the purpose.”

Earlier, only the commissioner of the Hindu religious and charitable endowments department was empowered to file a complaint against the encroachment of temple land.

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