BENGALURU: The Karnataka High Court declined to issue directions to the State government to exercise its power under Article 162 of the Constitution to frame a scheme for the administration of mutts. “The legislature has expressly excluded mutts and temples attached to mutts, as they are headed and managed by mathadipathis. In any case, the petitioners have an alternative remedy under Section 92 ... Therefore, we are not inclined to exercise extraordinary discretionary jurisdiction under Article 226, and therefore, a writ petition is held to be not maintainable,” the court said.
A division bench of acting Chief Justice Alok Aradhe and Justice S Vishwajith Shetty pronounced the order on Thursday on a petition filed by Edurkala Ishwara Bhat and five others, claiming to be devotees of Sri Ramachandrapura Mutt. The court reserved liberty to the petitioners to take recourse to remedy provided under the CrPC.
A petition filed by TT Hegde for grant of permission to file a suit seeking removal of Sri Raghaveshwara Bharathi Swami from the seat of peetadhipathi and to appoint a new peetadhipathi was dismissed for non-prosecution.
Thereafter, Bhat and others filed the petition in 2016, seeking directions to the Department of Revenue (Muzrai) to exercise its executive power to regulate Ramachandrapura Mutt and all other mutts, pending the passing/enactment of a regulatory statute by the state legislature. Alternatively, to frame a scheme to regulate mutts in general, and in the present context to regulate the mutt with regard to the misuse and abuse of power by Sri Raghaveshwara Bharathi Swami.