Fundamental Rights- The Golden Treasure of Indian Constitution (Part 4)

Right to Freedom of Religion (Articles 25- 28)

“The constitutional freedom of religion is the most inalienable and sacred of all human rights.” – Thomas Jefferson

Article 25- Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion

Article 25 of the Constitution ensures the freedom of religion to all people in India. It gives that all people in India, dependent upon national order, profound quality, well-being, and different arrangements:

  • Are similarly permitted for the freedom of conscience, and
  • Reserve the privilege to profess, practice, and propagate religion unreservedly.

This Article will not influence any current law and will not keep the State from making any law connecting with:

  • Guideline or limitation of any economic, monetary, political, or everyday movement related to religious practice.
  • Giving social government assistance and change.
  • Opening of religious Hindu Institutions of national person for every one of the classes and areas of the Hindus.

National Anthem Case

Bijoe Emmanuel v. the State of Kerala (1987 AIR 748) case is usually known as the National Anthem case. In this case, were three children associated with a community (Jehovah’s observer) venerated just Jehovah (the maker) and would not sing the national anthem “Jana Gana Mana.” As per these, children singing Jana Gana Mana were against their religious confidence precepts, which didn’t permit them to sing the national anthem. These children stood up consciously peacefully day by day for the general theme of religion but wouldn’t sing because of their genuine conviction. A Commission was designated to enquire about the matter. In the report, the Commission expressed that these youngsters were ‘well behaved’ and didn’t show any disregard. Notwithstanding, the headmistress under the guidance of the Dy. Reviewer of Colleges removed the understudies.

The Supreme Court held that the activity of the headmistress of removing the youngsters from College for not singing the national song of praise was violative of their freedom of religion. Accordingly, the fundamental rights ensured under Article 19(1)(a) and Article 25(1) have been infringed. It further held that there is no arrangement of law that propels or commits anybody to sing the national song of praise; it is likewise not rude assuming an individual consciously stands, however, doesn’t sing the general anthem.

Television Serial Case

In the case of Ramesh v. Union of India [(1988) 1 SCC 668], The sequential ‘Tamas’ depended on a book that screened four episodes that depict the national brutality between Hindu-Muslim and Sikh-Muslim the strain, killing, and plundering that occurred. Accordingly, a writ appeal was documented under Article 32 of the Constitution for the issuance of the writ of denial or other suitable writ or order controlling the further screening of the sequential ‘Tamas’ and upholding the significant rights of the applicant under Article 21 and Article 25 and to profess the screening of Tamas as violative of Section 5B of the Cinematograph Act, 1952.

While excusing the order, the Court held that there is no infringement of Articles 21 and 25 and the respondent has not misbehaved. The creator attempts to focus on the previous history of our nation and to underscore the wish of individuals to live in agreement and transcend religious hindrances. It further held that it creates harmony and concurrence when the sequential is seen ultimately. Individuals are not liable to be moved by the viciousness displayed in it.

Acquiring Place of Worship by State

In M Siddiq (D) Thr. Los v. Mahant Suresh Das (Civil Appeal Nos 10866-10867 of 2010), Supreme Court held that the State has the sovereign or privilege ability to procure the property. The State likewise can gain spots of worship like a mosque, church, sanctuary, and so on, and the obtaining of places of worship fundamentally isn’t violative of Articles 25 and 26. Notwithstanding, securing a spot of prayer is critical and fundamental for the religion, and assuming the destruction of such area breaks their (people having a place with that religion) right to rehearse religion, then the obtaining of such sites can’t be brought allowed.

Restrictions

The Supreme Court in re, Noise Pollution case [Writ Petition (Civil) 72 of 1998], has given specific bearings to be followed to control commotion contamination for the sake of religion:

  • Fireworks: There is a total restriction on sound-producing fireworks from 10 pm to 6 am.
  • Loudspeakers: Rereligiousion on the pounding of drums, tom-tom, blowing of trumpets, or any utilization of any strong intensifier between 10 pm to 6 am besides in open crises.
  • Generally: The State will arrange to take and hold onto amplifiers and other sound enhancers or gear that make commotion past the breaking point endorsed.

Article 26- Freedom to manage religious affairs

The freedom to manage religious affairs is given by Article 26. This article provides the right to each severe community, or any part thereof, to practice the rights that it specifies. In any case, this right must be practised similarly to the national order, profound quality, and wellbeing. Furthermore, statement (a) of Article 26 gives a religious category the option to build up and keep up with Institutions for severe and charitable purposes.

Article 26 doesn’t manage the right of an individual. However, it is limited to religious denominations. Article 26 alludes to a category of any religion, regardless of whether it is a more significant part of a minority religion, similarly as Article 25 alludes to all people, whether they have a place with the more substantial part of a minority religion.

Landmark Judgements

The Court acknowledged the significance of the word ‘community’ with the end goal of Article 26 in Commr H.R.E. v Sri Lakshmindra Thirtha Swamiar of Sri Shirur Mutt (1954 SCR 1005). It was said that a ‘religious division’ is an assortment of people gathered under a similar name – a religious activity or body having typical confidence and Union and assigned by a particular word. Further, they are qualified to appreciate total independence regarding concluding what customs and functions will manage them, and no external authority can obstruct their issues.

A critical case concerning the privileges of a Hindu religious community came up for thought in the case of Venkataramana Devaru v State of Mysore (1958 SCR 895). The sanctuary was exposed to a plan outlined under Section 92 of the Civil Procedure Code. The Madras Legislature ordered the Madras Temple Entry Authorization Act to eliminate the victimization of Harijans from entering Hindu national sanctuaries. Therefore, the trustees sought a decree by recording a suit that the Act had no legitimate application. The refuge was a denominational one, having been solely established for the Gowda Brahmins. Subsequently, the Act disregarded Article 26(b) of the Constitution.

At first occurrence, the suit was excused. Then, the trustees appealed to the High Court, which passed a limited decree holding the privileges of the trustees to reject the overall population during specific services just which were solely kept for the Gowda Brahmins. Then, finally, there was a last enticement for the Supreme Court, where the whole extent of the Article was deciphered.

The Supreme Court applied the doctrine of harmonious construction to hold that Article 26(b) is dependent upon the right of the State under Article 25(2)(b). In that view, the rights of the Gowda Brahmins to partake in specific services are denominational privileges. Subsequently, the High Court was correct in conceding a declaration to that limited degree, as it were. Consequently, the Gowda Brahmins’ right was dismissed because it was biased, which was disallowed by Articles 15 and 16 of the Constitution.

Article 27- Freedom as to payment of taxes for promotion of any particular religion

This article gives an exemption to pay a tax for religious activity. That unmistakable more secularism idea of the State. Another significance of the Article, the State ought not to spend the public money gathered via tax for the advancement or upkeep of a specific religion. This arrangement precludes the State from inclining toward, disparaging, and supporting one religion over the other. This implies that the expenses can be utilized to advance or upkeep all religions identically.

In the case of Commissioner, Hindu Religious Endowments, Madras v. Sri Lakshmindra Thirtha Swamiar of Sri Shirur Mutt (1954 AIR 282), the Madras governing body authorized the Madras Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment Act, 1951, and commitments were exacted under the Act. The applicant fought it that the obligations exacted are taxes and not an expense, and the condition of madras isn’t skilful to sanction such an arrangement. It was held by the Supreme Court that, however, the commitment required was a tax, yet its object was for the appropriate organization of the religious establishment.

Article 28- Freedom as to attendance at religious instruction or religious worship in certain educational institutions

This Article assists with halting forcefully worshipping and going to religious places. Article 28(1) arrangement that no religious guidelines will be given in any instructive foundation entirely kept up with out-of-state reserves. In any case, this arrangement will not have any significant bearing to an instructive foundation directed by the State yet settled under any blessing or trust, requiring giving religious guidance in such an establishment. Further, no individual going to any instructive foundation perceived by the State or getting help out of State reserves will be needed to go to any religious guidance or worship in that establishment without his permission. In the case of a minor (Age under 18), the consent of his watchman is required. Subsequently, Article 28 recognizes four kinds of instructive Institutions:

  • Institutions entirely kept up with by the State (Religious guidance is denied)
  • Institutions controlled by the State yet settled under any gift or trust (Religious guidance is allowed)
  • Institutions perceived by the State (Religious guidance is allowed on a deliberate premise)
  • Institutions getting help from the State (Religious guidance is allowed on a deliberate premise)

In the case of D.A.V. College v. State of Punjab [(1971) 2 SCC 368], Section 4 of the Guru Nanak University (Amritsar) Act, 1969 which given that the State will make arrangements for the study of life and lessons of Guru Nanak Dev was addressed as being violative of Article 28 of the Constitution. The inquiry emerged that the Guru Nanak University is wholly kept up with out-of-state assets, and Section 4 infringes Article 28. However, the Court dismissed this held that Section 4 accommodates the scholarly study of the life and lessons of Guru Nanak, and this can’t be considered as religious guidance.

Conclusion

In the living souls’, religion assumes a crucial part. An essential role is played by it to impact the personalities of individuals. Particularly in the Indian culture, religion plays a fundamental part in managing individuals’ direction and conduct. Indians are incredibly possessive regarding religion, and assuming anybody attempts to thwart in that, they become ready. Therefore, it is essential to keep up with respectability while practising this right to avoid future risks.

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This post was last updated on January 9th, 2022 at 09:39 pm

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