Constitutional Courts Can’t Interfere In Daily Rituals Of Temples: Supreme Court

New Delhi: A Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice NV Ramana said the constitutional courts cannot interfere in the day-to-day affairs of a temple.

Hearing a petition that was filed alleging irregularities in the rituals of Tirupati Tirumala temple, the bench, also comprising Justices AS Bopanna and Hima Kohli, on Tuesday said the courts cannot spell out how rituals in a temple like how coconut should be broken or how a garland should be put on a deity etc should be performed.

Stating that these issues cannot be decided in a writ petition, it declined to issue any order on a petition.

The petitioner, Sarvari Daadaa sought the court’s intervention with the submission that it is a public temple. “How will courts interfere in this…how to conduct rituals?,” a news agency quoted the bench as saying.

The apex court noted that the relief sought by the petitioner is in the nature of interfering in day-to-day affairs of the temple. It cannot be looked into by a constitutional court and any deviation from tradition is a question of fact, which the trial court can look into by appreciating the evidence, the bench observed.

The bench asked the temple administration to respond to the petitioner’s grievances, and if there is still a grievance on specified aspects, the petitioner can approach the appropriate forum.

Earlier, the Andhra Pradesh High Court had dismissed the PIL filed by the petitioner on the same issue and held that the procedure of conducting rituals is the exclusive domain of the temples.

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