Karnataka HC: Govt. cannot oversee funding of Hindu religious and charitable organizations
The High Court (HC) of Karnataka struck down the Karnataka Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments Amendment Acts, 2011 and 2012, deeming them unconstitutional and discriminatory on Wednesday.
The laws were aimed at bringing the administration of all religious institutions and charitable endowments under the general superintendence and control of the Rajya Dharmika Parishat and also constitution of a nine-member committee for management of temples.
Responding to the batch of petitions filed by Mahaganapathi Shankara Devasthana, Sirsi and other temples of North Karnataka region, a division bench of Dharwad headed by Justice Anand Byrareddy said in a ruling that the amended laws were invalid since the parent law, Karnataka Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments Act, 1997, itself was struck down by the court.
With the law being repealed by the Karnataka HC, the government will lose its right to form managing committees and assign officers to temples.
The Supreme Court passed a directive to the Karnataka HC to dispose of petitions regarding the matter on March 24, 2015. However, a Special Leave Petition filed by the Karnataka government is pending in the Supreme Court after the Karnataka HC had struck down the parent law in 1997.