Madras HC says no religion preaches narrow-mindedness | Chennai News – Times of India


CHENNAI: “No religion preaches narrow-mindedness or to hurt others. The sentiments expressed by litigant cannot be appreciated,” said Madras high court, throwing out a PIL to restrain Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin from chairing an advisory committee meetings of Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments department until he takes pledge in a temple expressing his affinity towards Hindu religion.
“This is an utterly mischievous petition and made in extreme bad taste. Discord, disharmony and suspicion in the name of religion has to stop. This is a secular country and secularism implies tolerance for the other religion. This country also provides for freedom of expression to its citizens, which, in turn, implies lending an ear to the other point of view,” said a livid first bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice P D Audikesavalu on Monday.
The court also restrained the PIL-petitioner S Sridharan, an advocate, from filing any PILs for 5 years without the prior permission of the bench concerned.
“Even the Constitution permits the oath of office to be taken either in the name of God or in the name of the Constitution,” the bench pointed out.
“It does not appear that any religion teaches narrow-mindedness or requires followers of another faith to be hurt or injured,” the judges said, and dismissed the plea.
Citing a news article, the PIL-petitioner said Stalin would head the advisory committee of the HR&CE department, and added: “As per Section 10 of the Act, professing Hindu religion is a qualification one must meet to serve the Hindu temples at all levels and they will be allowed to continue to render their service only as they continue their faith in Hindu religion.”
The purpose of the condition is to restrain the authority acting under the act from applying the temple properties and funds in connection with activities which are against Hindu faith, he added.
Noting that every person in any capacity in furtherance of the act should be Hindu by birth, should have faith in Hindu religion the petitioner submitted that the rules are equally applicable to the members of the advisory committee also.“Stalin heading the committee is a rude shock to crores of Hindu public like me in the state since he is a proclaimed atheist, non-believer of Hindu gods and does not practice Hindu religion,” he said.

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