The petition filed by BJP advocate and leader Ashwini Upadhyay argued that Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, and Sikhs should have similar rights to establish, manage, and maintain their religious sites as Muslims, Parsis, and Christians, and the Express cannot summarize this right.
“It is argued that the right to administer institutions conferred by articles 26 is a natural right for all communities. But Hindus, Jains, Buddhists and Sikhs have been denied this privilege, ”said the statement delivered through attorney Ashwani Kumar Dubey.
The PIL stated that there are approximately four lakh temples of nine Lakh temples across the country that are under government control.
There is not a single religious body related to the Church or Mosque where any government control or interference is seen, he said, adding that when it comes to paying taxes or donations, there is no payment of taxes from churches and mosques in the country.
“And due to the same reasons mentioned, there is a need to change the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Act (HRCE) of 1951 and other similar laws enacted by the States from time to time.
“This law gives the government permission to control temples, as well as temple property. There is between 13% and 18% of the service charge on temples. There are almost 15 states in our nation that take control over Hindu temples. Religious institutions. When service charges are implemented in temples, they basically take away the rights of the community as well as the resources that protect their interests, “the plea said.
The petition said that Hindus, Jains, Buddhists and Sikhs have similar rights to acquire and manage movable and immovable property of their religious sites, as Muslims and Christians, and the state cannot summarize that.
All the Laws enacted to acquire and administer movable-immovable property of temples-gurudwaras are arbitrary, irrational and offend articles 14, 15, 26. Therefore, null and void, the petition said.
“If required, Court it may direct the Indian Law Center or Commission to draft a ‘Common Charter for Religious and Charitable Institutions’ and a ‘Uniform Code for Religious and Charitable Endowments,’ “the plea said.