- Religious mutts and temples under their control that have so far remained outside the ambit of the government could come within it’s purview if changes being considered for the ‘Muzrai’ Act is any indication.
- A seven-member committee, currently in the process of suggesting comprehensive changes in the Act, is considering inclusion of mutts and temples controlled by mutts under the purview of the Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments Act, popularly known as ‘Muzrai’ Act.
- In fact, non-inclusion of mutts and temples run by them, and keeping away Jains, Buddhists and Sikhs from the definition of “Hindus” had led a Division Bench of the Karnataka High Court to strike down the 2011 and 2012 Amendments brought to the Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments Act, 1997.
- Terming the exclusion as “illegal and discriminatory”, the high court had struck down amendments in 2015.
- Even the 1997 Act was stuck down by the High Court in 2006 on the same grounds that mutts have been kept outside the purview, but the Supreme Court stayed a portion of the High Court’s ruling.
- The High Court’s observation on the Amendments to the Act when it was stuck down had raised issues pertaining to Article 14, 25 and 26 of Indian constitution that refer to fundamental rights of the citizens.
- These included how the mutts had been kept away from the Act and how Jains, Buddhists and Sikhs were not brought under the Act.
- These observations of the court are being considered. Apart from this, there are Supreme Court observations too that will be incorporated.