CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Thursday refused to entertain a plea challenging the constitutional validity of the Tamil Nadu Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Act.
The petitioner Arjunan Elayaraja claimed that the Act was discriminatory as it only controls places of worship of the Hindu religion and not others.
He also claimed that the Act curtailed worshipping rights of Hindus, while rights of people following other religions are not curtailed.
The first bench of Chief Justice AP Sahi and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy rejected the claims and suggested the petitioner withdraw the plea and come up with a better petition if required.
The bench observed that management of temples has nothing to do with the right to worship. One can worship as much as they want.
However, the petitioner’s counsel R Gururaj submitted that being a secular state, Tamil Nadu cannot come up with such a legislation only to control temples of Hindu religion. To this, the bench wondered whether the petitioner is aware of the Wakf Act and the Sikh Gurdwaras Act in Punjab.
“The petitioners' arguments might be appreciated in the courts of the US. There the states have legal restriction in passing laws in certain matters. But here things are different,” the bench said.
Noting that the constitutional bench of the Supreme Court has already upheld such legislations, the court permitted the petitioner to withdraw the petition.