Madras High Court Admits Petition Against Tamil Nadu HRCE Act Seeking Freeing Of Temples From Government Control

by Swarajya Staff - Aug 18, 2021 07:53 AM
Madras High Court Admits Petition Against Tamil Nadu HRCE Act Seeking Freeing Of Temples From Government ControlThe Madras High Court
Snapshot
  • The Madras High Court admitted a petition challenging the Tamil Nadu Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Act of 1959 and asked the state to file a rejoinder in the matter within four weeks.

The Madras High Court on Tuesday (17 August) admitted a petition challenging the Tamil Nadu Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Act of 1959.

Listed before a Division Bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice P D Adiskesavalu, the petition challenges not just any provision but the whole Act that gives the state the permission to run Hindu temples while sparing all other religious institutions.

Admitting the petition, the court asked the state of Tamil Nadu to file a rejoinder in the matter. Noting that “The challenge here is not to any particular provision but to the validity of the Act on the ground that the State cannot monitor or maintain places of worship pertaining to any religion, whatsoever.”

As reported by LawBeat, the counsel for the petitioner R Gururaj said the above was so because there is no such Act for any religion other than Hinduism.

Contending that the Act is against the fundamental rights provided under the Constitution of India and mentioning several earlier judgements of the Supreme Court, he stated that the government should not be running the temple administrations.

The petitioner has also filed extracts from several Supreme Court Judgements dating back to 1974,” noted the court, as quoted. The matter has been listed after six weeks, and a rejoinder is to be filed by the state within four weeks.

The Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) Department in Tamil Nadu is in charge of the administration of over 44,000 temples and over 50 mutts along with their temples. It took over the administration of temples on 1 January 1960 through an Act passed by the Tamil Nadu Government in 1959. The Act was based on a pre-Independence law that had been imposed by the British.

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