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Andhra Pradesh HC asks CS to file counter in petition against amended Endowments Act

The division bench of Chief Justice Prasanth Kumar Mishra and Justice M Satyanarayana Murthy heard the PIL filed by Sreenivasulu Palepu of Prakasam district. 

Published: 04th January 2022 09:44 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th January 2022 09:44 AM   |  A+A-

Andhra Pradesh High Court

Andhra Pradesh High Court

By Express News Service

VIJAYAWADA: The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Monday issued notices to the State chief secretary, principal secretary-revenue (Endowments), commissioner (Endowments) and member secretary of Andhra Pradesh Dharmika Parishad and directed them to file their counters with respect to a public interest litigation (PIL) filed challenging The Andhra Pradesh Charitable and Hindu Religious Institutions and Endowments (Amendment) Act, 2021. 

The division bench of Chief Justice Prasanth Kumar Mishra and Justice M Satyanarayana Murthy heard the PIL filed by Sreenivasulu Palepu of Prakasam district. 

The petitioner challenged powers of the Act stating that the amendment was enacted in infringement of Articles 25 and 26(b) of the Constitution of India and also by defeating the letter and spirit of The Andhra Pradesh Charitable and Hindu Religious Institutions and Endowments (Amendment) Act, 2007, which ensured incorporation of a 21-member Dharmika Parishad under Section 152 of The AP Charitable and Hindu Religious Institutions and Endowments Act of 1987.

Representing the petitioner, advocate Umesh Chandra PVG informed the Court that vide the recent amendment the composition of AP Dharmika Parishad has been reduced from 21-member to a four-member committee, thereby granting exclusivity to officers of the government to deal with the affairs of religious institutions in categorical violation of the Constitution of India and judgments of the Supreme Court of India.

The advocate informed the Court that the sovereign power of the State Legislative Assembly in the matters of legislation are conditioned on two grounds--state list and concurrent list--and the State Legislature cannot enact a law which infringes the fundamental rights guaranteed to individuals under Part III of the Constitution of India.

Umesh Chandra informed the Court that the recent amendment made to the principal Act shall be tested on the touchstone of the Fundamental Rights and, if this principle is applied for the impugned Act, the amendment does not pass the legal scrutiny. The court issued notices and directed the respondents to file counters within four weeks.

Umesh Chandra sought a stay in the operation of The Andhra Pradesh Charitable and Hindu Religious Institutions and Endowments (Amendment) Act, 2021. The bench, however, rejected his request stating that it would consider the same at an appropriate time and upon the filing of counters in the matter. 

‘Amendment infringes Articles 25, 26(b)’

The petitioner challenged the Act stating that the amendment was enacted in infringement of Articles 25 and 26(b) and also by defeating the letter and spirit of The AP Charitable & Hindu Religious Institutions and Endowments (Amendment) Act, 2007



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