BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on Thursday filed an appeal in Supreme Court against the Uttarakhand High Court’s judgment ratifying the takeover of 51 temples by the State Government including the Kedarnath and Badrinath temples. In his detailed appeal, Swamy pointed out that the temple takeover by the State through an Act – Char Dham Devasthanam Management Act, was blatantly unconstitutional. He said that the temple takeover through the Act has violated Article 31 A(1)(b), Article 25 and 26 of the Indian Constitution. Article 31 is regarding the right of private ownership, Article 25 and 26 empowers religious institutions and believers’ right to manage and conduct their institutions.
In July Uttarakhand High Court ratified the BJP ruled State Government’s new Act to take over the 51 temples. After filing the appeal in Supreme Court, Subramanian Swamy tweeted:
I am happy to inform PTs that I have filed a SLP against the Uttarakhand HC Order on the Government take over of Char Dam, Kedar Nath, Badri Nath and 50 other temples in the State and made CM as Chairman for all these temples forever!!!
— Subramanian Swamy (@Swamy39) September 17, 2020
Citing many Supreme Court judgments and his case on Nataraja Temple judgment, Swamy argued that the High Court did not consider the apex court’s judgments against the temple takeovers by Government. Supreme Court in many judgments said that the Government can’t take over a temple for an unspecified time and should be limited only to rectify the complaints on administration and mismanagement and has to return back.
Swamy also pointed out that the controversial Act has made provision for the Chief Minister to be the head of the Board and if the Chief Minister is not a Hindu, the senior-most Hindu Minister has to be appointed as head of the Char Dham Devasthanam Management Board. He also pointed out there are so many nonvalid provisions of making MLAs and MPs in the Board and posting of IAS office as Chief Executive Officer of the Board. The appeal pointed out that there are provisions suggesting the approval of the CEO in the appointment of priests of temples. Supreme Court is expected to list the appeal in the coming weeks. Many priests are protesting against the BJP ruled State Government’s controversial Act along with many Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) workers for the past 1 year in many parts of Uttarakhand.
 Protesting at Kedarnath shrine since June, priest airlifted to AIIMS as his health deteriorates – Sep 07, 2020, Hindustan Times
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