Team  SoOLEGAL

Article 25 of the Constitution does not grant protection to illegally built religious structures in the name of essential religious practice

Team SoOLEGAL 20 Jul 2020 3:28pm

Article 25 of the Constitution does not grant protection to illegally built religious structures in the name of essential religious practice

The High Court of Karnataka has ruled that Article 25 of the Constitution of India cannot be used to provide legal safeguards to illegally built religious structures.  The court further noted that construction of an unauthorised temple cannot be termed as an essential religious practice as per Article 25.

This ruling came amidst the consideration of a writ petition which was highlighting the failure to demolish an unauthorised temple by Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMK) which was built on a footpath.

The bench comprised of Justice Abhay S Oka and Justice M Nagaprasanna stated, “The fundamental right under Article 25 of the Constitution of India cannot be invoked for protecting an illegal structure of a temple which is on a footpath. The right to construct unauthorized temples and that also on a footpath cannot be said to be an essential part of any religion.

The Residents Welfare Association (RWA) also intervened in the petition. It was argued by the RWA that the temple was first set up in 1854. Initially, the establishment was not on a road or a footpath, but it ended up on the footpath as and when the road was widened.

The Court rejected the contention raised by the RWA by saying that the construction on a footpath can never be safeguarded, especially if there is no documented material/evidence to show the establishment was constructed after obtaining the permission of competent authorities.

The court further imposed a fine of Rs. 25,000 on the RWA members and also noted the fact that if the intention of the applicants were bona fide they could have applied for the relocation of the temple from the footpath a long while back.

The matter has been posted on 30th July for further hearing.



Tagged: Article 25   High Court of Karnataka   Constitution of India   Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike   Justice Abhay S Oka   Justice M Nagaprasanna   Residents Welfare Association  
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