Understanding Liberty of Faith and Worship

Understanding Liberty of Faith and Worship[i]

A Primer on India’s Constitutional Framework on Freedom of Religion or Belief


The longest written Constitution in the world expounds on the freedom of religion in four Articles in its text. Article 25 recognises that all persons have the right to freely practice, profess and propagate religion. Article 26 empowers a religious denomination to govern itself. Article 27, quite ingeniously, gives Indians protection from being compelled to pay taxes for the promotion of a particular religion. And Article 28 secures students from being instructed in religion in a State-funded educational institution.

Apart from these, there are other provisions in the Constitution that partially invoke religious freedom. For example, the prohibition of discrimination only on the ground of religion under Article 15, equal opportunity in public employment for persons of all faiths under Article 16, and the right of minorities – including religious minorities – under Article 30 to run educational institutions.

This primer is focused on court rulings rendered under Articles 25 and 26, and on interpreting their implications when a person’s freedom of conscience or a religious group’s right to manage its own affairs is at crossroads with the prerogative of the State to provide for social welfare or reform even in religious matters. The implications greatly vary for both the individual and the community.

The promise of Religious Liberty

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

(1) Subject to public order, morality and health and to the other provisions of this Part, all persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practise and propagate religion

(2) Nothing in this article shall affect the operation of any existing law or prevent the State from making any law

(a) regulating or restricting any economic, financial, political or other secular activity which may be associated with religious practice;

(b) providing for social welfare and reform or the throwing open of Hindu religious institutions of a public character to all classes and sections of Hindus

Explanation I: The wearing and carrying of kirpans shall be deemed to be included in the profession of the Sikh religion

Explanation II: In sub-clause (b) of clause reference to Hindus shall be construed as including a reference to persons professing the Sikh, Jain or Buddhist religion, and the reference to Hindu religious institutions shall be construed accordingly.

Article 26. Freedom to manage religious affairs

Subject to public order, morality and health, every religious denomination or any section thereof shall have the right

(a) to establish and maintain institutions for religious and charitable purposes;

(b) to manage its own affairs in matters of religion;

(c) to own and acquire movable and immovable property; and

(d) to administer such property in accordance with law.[ii]

A bare reading of these provisions, make it apparent that:

All persons in India, citizens or not, have the right to freely practice their faith, which includes the right to share the tenets of their faith. One could also hold a conscionable opinion in keeping with one’s beliefs. Importantly, all members of society share this entitlement equally.

Quite understandably, this right of a person is not absolute as it is governed by the demands of public order, morality, health and all other corresponding fundamental rights provided under part III of the Constitution.

Having said this, the State inversely has the power to regulate secular activities associated with any religious practice. It can pass laws to reform outdated religious customs or provide for the welfare of the society at large. Unique to the Indian context, many Hindu institutions, especially temples, allow entry only to members of one caste. But the State can ease restrictions on entry to Hindu public institutions to permit access to Hindus of all classes and sections. The framers of the Constitution deliberately authorized the State to ease such restrictions to counteract India’s abominable history of caste-based discrimination.

A religious group has the fundamental right to run religious and charitable institutions, own property and manage its own affairs in religion in accordance with the law. Unlike the right of an individual, a denomination’s right is only made subject to public order, morality and health.

A Closer View of Articles 25 and 26

When we delve deeper into the text on religious freedom, we learn that:

An individual’s constitutional right to religion is enforceable not only against the State but also against other persons and entities. Where a person’s faith is interfered with by the State, provisions of the Constitution pertaining to equality, non-discrimination by State on the ground of religion and the fundamental right to life would spring into action. Where the practice of religion is interfered with by non-State actors, specific provisions relating to equal access for persons of all religions to public facilities and protection from the religious practice of untouchability would come into play.[iii]

As discussed earlier, an individual’s right to religious liberty is fashioned by greater considerations as it has also been made subject to the other fundamental rights recognised under the Constitution, apart from the usual constraints of public order, morality and health. However, these constraints have not been interpreted by the Supreme Court of India as a handicap to the individual’s right, contrary to what would be apparent from a cursory reading of Article 25(1).

The court in Indian Young Lawyers Association and Ors. v. The State of Kerala and Ors,[iv] also known as the Sabarimala judgement, held that an individual’s right to worship under Article 25(1) is rather informed by the right to equality (Article 14), the right against discrimination (Articles 15 and 17), and the right to dignity (Article 21), superseding even a religious group’s right. For the average newspaper reader, this assertion by the court implied that menstruating women (computed as women between the ages of 10 to 50 years as a rule of thumb) have an equal right as men to pray before a celibate deity in Sabarimala temple, well against the wishes of Sabarimala worshippers and Thanthris[v].

While permitting the State to regulate secular activities associated with a religion under Article 25(2), the Constitution does not give us any pointers on which activities may be construed as secular and which as religious. Constitutional law expert, Gautam Bhatia, feels that “… if you think of situations where there is a dispute between the State and religious practitioners over whether a particular practice is, say, “political” or “religious,” the constitutional text itself provides no further guidance on the issue. It is therefore clear that, ultimately, this is a question that the Courts must decide, and consequently, to an extent, the Courts will have to answer questions about whether something is religious or not[vi].”

In provisions similar to Article 25(2), where a religious denomination has been granted the right to manage its own affairs in matters of religion under Article 26(b), the text doesn’t spell which affair would constitute as a matter of religion and which not. These “silences,” as you would see in a bit, have spurred decades of litigation, as it is impossible for the court to lay down clear guidelines to differentiate between religious and secular activities of religious groups.

To resolve this problem arising from gaps within the provisions of Article 25 and 26, the court developed the doctrine of “essential religious practices.” This doctrine stated that only those practices which may be construed as essential to a particular religion (read religious denomination) deserved the protection accorded to a fundamental right under the Constitution and as such, be immune from State’s intervention in them.

The formulation of the “essential tenets” doctrine, in turn, led to another stumbling block where constitutional courts were now constrained to evaluate deeply theological issues in a religion to ascertain “essentiality” of a practice in question.

 In their book, Supreme But Not Infallible, eminent jurists and senior advocates Dr. Rajeev Dhavan and Fali Nariman remarked that“*** judges are unequipped to deal with such issues, relying as they do on limited material in the form of selective affidavits presented to the courts in adversarial litigation, amidst the chaos of overcrowded dockets and congested court calendars. With a power greater than that of a high priest, maulvi or dharmasastri, judges have virtually assumed the theological authority to determine which tenets of a faith are ‘essential’ to any faith and emphatically underscored their constitutional power to strike down those essential tenets of a faith that conflict with the dispensation of the Constitution. Few religious pontiffs possess this kind of power[vii].”

Lately, the Supreme Court has begun to scrutinise religious practices not on the premise of how essential they are for a particular religion, but on the implications such practice holds for a practitioner of that religion. Termed as constitutional morality, it is now argued that the individual’s freedom of religion and his body of rights – pertaining to “dignity, liberty and equality” – are at the centre of the Constitution, and thus, should be conferred higher protection from any encroachment either by the State or a religious group.

A Survey of Court Rulings Through Eight Decades

To understand better the rationale and axiology adopted by the High Courts and the Supreme Court in deciding complex issues pertaining to religious liberty, it would be beneficial to peruse the table drawn below which maps key court decisions. From a bird’s eye point of view, Bhatia has neatly summed up such cases as “cases involving state intervention into the management of temples, durgahs, maths, gurudwaras, which primarily include administration of estate, and appointment of officials; and cases involving the relationship between the members of religious communities, or practices of those members (beef-eating, bigamy, excommunication, Tandava dancing)[viii].”

Please note that this is not an exhaustive list but a table consisting only a few significant cases relevant to the issues raised in this article. Also, in cases involving management of religious institutions, only arguments canvassed, and ratio decidendi[ix] (the rationale for the decision) laid down pertaining to religious freedom have been addressed and referenced. Obiter dicta[x] (remarks in a judgment that are “said in passing”) in a few judgements have been separately mentioned to show how the court has routinely opined on essential aspects of various faiths, though eventually deciding such cases on entirely different grounds as seen in the ratio.




Argument (religious)

Obiter Dicta

Ratio Decidendi



Narasu Appa Mali[xi]

Bigamous marriage among Hindus

Hinduism permits polygamy when a Hindu necessarily needs to have sons to perform his last rites, perpetuate his family etc.

Polygamy is not an integral part of Hindu religion.

The necessity of a son for spiritual salvation may be satisfied through adoption.


State is well within its right to legislate for social reform.

Monogamy made applicable only to Hindus in contrast to all other communities is not discriminatory under Article 14 and 15.

Bombay Prevention of Hindu Bigamous Marriages Act, 1946 upheld


Shirur Math[xii]

State management of math[xiii] affairs

Law violated Mathadhipati’s[xiv] right to property and freedom of religion[xv]

Secular activities associated with religion that do not constitute an essential part of it are amenable to State regulation. What is essential is to be determined from the doctrines of that religion.

State legislature is competent to enact such law under Entry 28, List III, Schedule VII of Constitution.

Possible abuse of a provision in the impugned law does not make the provision or the law invalid.

Unrestricted entry of State officials into even the ‘holy of holies’ of the math violates religious freedom.

Deprivation of the Mahant’s right to administer trust property even when there is no maladministration violates a denomination’s right to manage its own affairs.

Madras Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Act, 1951 upheld partly


Venkataramana Devaru[xvi]

Entry of public to temple reserved for Gowda Saraswath Brahmin worshippers

Throwing open a denominational temple violates a group’s right as Gowda Saraswath Brahmins as a religious community have the right to exclude those not belonging to their denomination

Opined exclusion of persons from entering a temple for worship is not an essential practice under Hindu ceremonial law with reference to its tenets.

Law is valid as State can provide for social reform and legislate to permit entry into denominational institutions, too.

This right of the State trumps an individual’s rights under Article 25(1) or denomination’s rights under Article 26(b).

When it comes to entry into temples for worship, State’s right to open Hindu public institutions will prevail over a group’s right to prohibit entry into such temple. However, the denomination will hold to exclude the general public from a few of its’ religious ceremonies in the temple.

Madras Temple Entry Authorisation Act, 1947 upheld


Mohd. Hanif Qureshi[xvii]

Ban on slaughter of cows

Violative right to freedom of religion under Article 25(1)

It is not obligatory for a Muslim to sacrifice a cow.

Restriction to slaughter and sell cow meat in exception to goat and sheep is a reasonable restriction to the right to carry on any occupation, trade or business under Article 19(6).

Ban is valid under Article 48 which suggests prohibition of the slaughter of cows as a policy that may be adopted by the State.

Butchers who kill cattle are a different class than those who kill goats and sheep. Intelligible differentia exists to separate classes of butchers, as it is based on the objective under the law to preserve, protect and improve cattle and thus, is not violative of Article 14.

Bihar Preservation and Improvement of Animals Act, 1956 partly upheld


Sardar Sarup Singh[xviii]

Inclusion of members by nomination in Sikh Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee 

Violative of right of religious denomination to govern itself.


No authoritative text relied to show that direct election by the Sikh community in the management of gurudwaras is part of Sikh religion.

Amended provisions of Sikh Gurudwaras Act, 1925 upheld


Sardar Syedna Taher Saifuddin[xix]

Power of Dai-ul-Multaq[xx] to excommunicate

Power of excommunication is an integral part of the religious beliefs of Dawoodi Bohra community

Right of excommunication is a matter of religion protected under Article 26


Excommunication based on religious grounds, like lapse from creed or doctrine, is essential to maintain strength of religion and thus, infringes Article 26(b).

Excommunication is not prejudicial to public order, morality and health as laid down in Article 25(1) and Article 26.

Barring of excommunication on religious grounds does not promote social welfare or reform to be covered as a right of the State under Article 25(2)(b).

Enactment is violative of the right to religious freedom as it interferes with the right of denomination to exclude use of its property from others.

Bombay Prevention of Excommunication Act, 1949 struck down by a majority of 4:1



Performance of Tandava dance in a public procession by Ananda Margis

Tandava dance is an essential part of religious rites.

Performance of Tandava dance in public is not an essential religious rite of Ananda Margis.

Court has the power to determine whether a particular rite or observance is regarded as essential by the tents of a particular religion.

Ananda Margis do not have the right to perform Tandava dance in public places under Articles 25 and 26.

Mandamus to direct Commissioner of Police to permit Tandava dance in public declined. Impugned order prohibiting the assembly of five or more persons under Section 144, Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 ceased to be effective due to efflux of time


Ismail Faruqui[xxii]

Whether place of worship can be acquired by State

Acquisition of place of worship is violative of religious freedom under Articles 25 and 26.


A mosque is not an essential part of the practice of Islam and namaz can be offered anywhere, even in open. Acquisition of mosque not prohibited by provisions of the Constitution.

Acquisition of Certain Area at Ayodhya Act, 1993 upheld by majority of 3:2


Jagdishwaranad II[xxiii]

Performance of Tandava dance in a public procession by Ananda Margis

Tandava dance is essential part of religious rites of Ananda Margis, according to the doctrines of their faith mentioned in a book called Carya Carya.


It is for the court to decide whether a part or practice is essential to a given religion. Permanent essential parts of a religion only protected by the Constitution. Denomination cannot say an essential part of its religion has changed from a particular date or event. Such alterable parts are only embellishments to the essential part.

Calcutta High Court’s order permitting Tandava dance in public procession by Ananda Margis set aside by 2:1 majority


Indian Young Lawyers Association[xxiv]

Prohibition of entry of women between 10 to 50 years into Sabarimala temple

Exclusion of women based on custom and usage by Sabarimala worshippers and Thanthris is also an essential facet of their faith.


Religious liberty and essential religious practices protected under Article 25(1) are subject to constitutional morality, which is based on principles of justice, liberty, equality, dignity and fraternity.

Reasons given for barring the entry of menstruating women to Sabarimala temple are considered by worshippers and Thanthris were conceded by the court as an essential facet of their belief. However, the court still held such belief as violative of constitutional morality and other fundamental rights.

Notifications issued by Devasom Board prohibiting entry of women held unconstitutional and set aside


Key Learnings and Observations from Court Decisions

Observing the application of “essential practices” doctrine by the court in various cases, Dr. Dhavan opined:

“Though creatively invented by Justice B. K. Mukerjee to protect religious freedom, the ‘essential practices’ test has proved to be double-edged. Created as a principle of inclusion to make some practices more sacral than others, it was interpreted in later cases as a threshold principle of exclusion to deprive supposedly non-essential practices of constitutional protection altogether[xxv].”

Through the years, the “essential tenets” doctrine has developed into a convoluted guidebook to decide religious liberty cases. The court has frequently commented on the significance, or lack thereof, of a particular practice in a religion without any foundational expertise. Interestingly, a cursory look at the obiter and ratio in a few judgements listed above would demonstrate that they were finally based on various other considerations, rather than the “essentiality” of the practice commented upon by the court. It could be reasoned that at least in such cases, the court could have declined from interpreting spiritual texts and sacred concerns relating to a faith.

There could be an easier approach to decide some of the complicated religious issues confronted by the court, and that is to defer to provisions already available under the Constitution, which permit the court to regulate or restrict non-religious activities [Article 25(2)(a)], or provide for social welfare or reform even within the sphere of a religious custom or usage [Article 25(2)(b)], or invoke the requirement upon a denomination to administer its affairs in accordance with law [Article 26(d)].

It is an outright denial of religious liberty by any stretch of imagination, when the court imposes the definition of religion and determines which practices according to it may be construed as essential to that religion, contrary often to the stance of the very religious group itself. Nariman elucidated, “It does not lie with the judiciary to tell people what constitutes the faith, or whether they are Hindus or which particular tenet or practice is an ‘essential practice’ exclusively entitled to constitutional protection[xxvi].”

In her dissent from the majority opinion in Sabarimala case, Justice Indu Malhotra echoed something similar by stating that if entry of women is considered a social injustice, the Constitution has “specifically provided for social welfare and reform, and throwing open of Hindu religious institutions of a public character to all classes and sections of Hindus through the process of legislation in Article 25(2)(b) of the Constitution. Article 25(2)(b) is an enabling provision which permits the State to redress social inequalities and injustices by framing legislation[xxvii].” However, she cautioned, “What is permitted by Article 25(2) is State made law on the grounds specified therein, and not judicial intervention[xxviii],” whereby complex religious problems are adjudicated by applying the “essentiality” test or the convenient constitutional morality argument.

The discriminate application of the concept of constitutional morality to decide religious freedom issues, seems to downplay the importance of a pivotal constitutional right given to religious communities to hold beliefs and govern themselves in keeping with their faith and beliefs. The court has gone to the extent of stating that it is merely incidental that a group’s right of religious liberty finds itself within the umbrella of fundamental rights. “In being located in Part III of the Constitution, the exercise of denominational rights cannot override and render meaningless constitutional protections which are informed by the overarching values of a liberal Constitution.”

The court has held that “The primacy of the individual, is the thread that runs through the guarantee of rights[xxix]***Where the protection of denominational rights would substantially reduce the right conferred by Article 25(2)(b), the latter would prevail against the former. This ensures that the constitutional guarantee under Article 25(2)(b) is not destroyed by exclusionary claims which detract from individual dignity[xxx].” In a nutshell, the court has made it amply clear that under the code of constitutional morality, the right of the individual to dignity, liberty and equality trumps any right of a religious group – though celebrated as a fundamental right in the Constitution.

Clearly, it is not difficult to see that within the body of rights granted by the Constitution, the court feels that certain fundamental rights deserve greater emphasis and protection than others to lay down, so to speak, an “essential rights” doctrine. Justice Indu Malhotra called out this cherry-picking of rights, holding that “equality and non-discrimination are certainly one facet of constitutional morality. However, the concept of equality and non-discrimination in matters of religion cannot be viewed in isolation. Under our constitutional scheme, a balance is required to be struck between the principles of equality and non-discrimination on the one hand, and the protection of the cherished liberties of faith, belief and worship guaranteed by Articles 25 and 26 to persons belonging to all religions in a secular polity, on the other hand.

Constitutional morality requires the harmonisation or balancing of all such rights, to ensure that the religious beliefs of none are obliterated or undermined[xxxi].” To reference the Sabarimala case, restriction of entry of women between the ages of 10 and 50 years is a custom and practice integral to the sanctity of Sabarimala temple[xxxii] which must be given due credence. It is important that matters of faith have to be recognised as complex concerns of worshippers, which cannot be trivialised or belittled under the constitutional scheme.

To belabour from the Sabarimala case, and to widen our perspective a little on the issue there, if the denial of entry by women between 10 and 50 years was really a question of discrimination or exclusion based on the biological traits of sex, it would surely be possible to say that such discrimination is against a class of persons. Interestingly, if there exists a difference of opinion among members of this class where one group identifies such exclusion as discriminatory, while the other group sees it as part and parcel of an inviolable religious tradition, would it be prudent to then classify this issue as one of class discrimination? It is possible that the latter group may see their exclusion as a problematic aspect of their religion which needs to be addressed, albeit through a respectful consensus between members and leaders of their faith.

It has been argued that the exclusion of women from entry is a discriminatory practice and, thus, is a violation of the right to equality under Article 14. In fact, the court has held that the exclusion of women because of menstruation is tantamount to them being treated as “untouchables” under Article 17. However, to harp on the idea that if there is a division of opinion amongst women between the age of 10 and 50 years on how they view the religious practices of Sabarimala temple, it may be far-fetched to invoke Articles 14 and 17. The argument of class discrimination should be equally true for all women of the said class or none at all.


It is apparent that the court’s efforts to resolve complicated religious questions, though commendable, falls short of delivering the constitutional promise of religious liberty to all persons. As we see it panning out in various court judgements, the “essential practices” test and the constitutional morality argument suffer from vagueness and arbitrariness, and their application varies from case to case and bench to bench. While it is safe to say that the examination of “essentiality” was a completely foreign and extra-constitutional device invented by the court, the concept of constitutional morality has a veneer of constitutionality, where certain fundamental rights are accorded a higher status than others. In the latter, it is difficult to ascertain the basis of such protection accorded only to a few rights and the criteria formulated to shortlist only those rights. The constitutional guarantee of freedom of religion for all, citizen or not, is a sacred vow, almost as sacred as the faith and belief that it protects. The Constitution empowers the people of India as religious communities and individuals with the liberty of faith and the freedom to worship their Creator. It is only through dialogue and consensus that we can fully resolve contentious questions of religion, bringing long-lasting peace and fraternity in the nation.


The Commissioner Hindu Religious Endowments, Madras v. Shri Lakshmindra Thritha Swaminar of Sri Shirur Mutt, All India Reporter 1954 Supreme Court 282

Venkataramana Devaru and Ors. v. The State of Mysore and Ors, All India Reporter 1958 Supreme Court 255

Mohd. Hanif Qureshi and Ors. v. State of Bihar, All India Reporter 1958 Supreme Court 731

Sardar Sarup Singh and Ors. v. State of Punjab and Ors., All India Reporter 1959 Supreme Court 860

Sardar Syedna Taher Saifuddin Saheb v. The State of Bombay, All India Reporter 1962 Supreme Court 853

Acharya Jagdishwaranand Avadhuta and Ors. v. Commissioner of Police, Calcutta and Anr., (1983) 4 Supreme Court Cases 522

Dr. Ismail Faruqui and Ors. v. Union of India and Ors., (1994) 6 Supreme Court Cases 360

Commissioner of Police and Ors. v. Acharya Jagdishwarananda Avadhuta and Anr., (2004) 12 Supreme Court Cases 770

  1. Bhatia, Individual, community, and State: Mapping the terrain of religious freedom under the Indian Constitution, [https://indconlawphil.wordpress.com/2016/02/07/individual-community-and-state-mapping-the-terrain-of-religious-freedom-under-the-indian-constitution/, accessed on November 11, 2020]
  2. Dhavan and F.S. Nariman, The Supreme Court and Group Life: Religious Freedom, Minority Groups, and Disadvantaged Communities, Supreme But Not Infallible: Essays in Honour of the Supreme Court of India, Oxford University Press, 2000

Constitution of India, 1950

Basu, Durga Das, Introduction to the Constitution of India, Lexis Nexis, 23rd Edition

Constituent Assembly Debates, Lok Sabha Secretariat, Government of India; 2014 Edition

Black’s Law Dictionary, Eighth Edition, First South Asian Edition 2015, Thomson Reuters


[i]Phrase from Preamble, The Constitution of India, 1950 which reads, “WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure to all its citizens: JUSTICE, social, economic and political; LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship; EQUALITY of status and of opportunity; and to promote among them all, FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation; IN OUR CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY this twenty-sixth day of November, 1949, do HEREBY ADOPT, ENACT AND GIVE TO OURSELVES THIS CONSTITUTION.”

[ii] Articles 25 and 26, Constitution of India, 1950.

[iii] See Indian Young Lawyers Association and Ors. v. The State of Kerala and Ors., (2019) 11 Supreme Court Cases 1, Pg. 141, Para 176.8.

[iv] Ibid.

[v] Head priests.

[vi] G. Bhatia, Individual, community, and State: Mapping the terrain of religious freedom under the Indian Constitution, [https://indconlawphil.wordpress.com/2016/02/07/individual-community-and-state-mapping-the-terrain-of-religious-freedom-under-the-indian-constitution/, accessed on November 11, 2020]

[vii] R. Dhavan and F.S. Nariman, The Supreme Court and Group Life: Religious Freedom, Minority Groups, and Disadvantaged Communities, Supreme But Not Infallible: Essays in Honour of the Supreme Court of India, Oxford University Press, 2000, 259.

[viii] Individual, community, and State, see above.

[ix] Ratio Decidendi, [Latin “the reason for deciding”], 1. The principle or rule of law on which a court’s decision is founded. 2. The rule of law on which a later court thinks that a previous court founded its decision; a general rule without which a case must have been decided otherwise, Black’s Law Dictionary, Eighth Edition, First South Asian Edition 2015, Thomson Reuters, 1290.

[x] Obiter Dictum, [Latin “something said in passing”], A judicial comment made while delivering a judicial opinion, but one that is unnecessary to the decision in the case and therefore not precedential (although it may be considered persuasive), Black’s Law Dictionary, Eighth Edition, First South Asian Edition 2015, Thomson Reuters, 1102.

[xi] The State of Bombay v. Narasu Appa Mali, All India Reporter 1952 Bombay 84, 2 judge bench decision.

[xii] The Commissioner Hindu Religious Endowments, Madras v. Shri Lakshmindra Thritha Swaminar of Sri Shirur Mutt, All India Reporter 1954 Supreme Court 282, 7 judge bench decision.

[xiii] Monastery.

[xiv] Head monk.

[xv] ‘Right to property’ omitted from Article 19 by way of the Constitution (Forty-fourth Amendment) Act, 1978.

[xvi] Venkataramana Devaru and Ors. v. The State of Mysore and Ors, All India Reporter 1958 Supreme Court 255, 5 judge bench decision.

[xvii] Mohd. Hanif Qureshi and Ors. v. State of Bihar, All India Reporter 1958 Supreme Court 731, 5 judge bench decision.

[xviii] Sardar Sarup Singh and Ors. v. State of Punjab and Ors., All India Reporter 1959 Supreme Court 860, 5 judge bench decision.

[xix] Sardar Syedna Taher Saifuddin Saheb v. The State of Bombay, All India Reporter 1962 Supreme Court 853, 5 judge bench decision.

[xx] Religious head of the Dawoodi Bohra community.

[xxi] Acharya Jagdishwaranand Avadhuta and Ors. v. Commissioner of Police, Calcutta and Anr., (1983) 4 Supreme Court Cases 522, 3 judge bench decision.

[xxii] Dr. Ismail Faruqui and Ors. v. Union of India and Ors., (1994) 6 Supreme Court Cases 360, 5 judge bench decision.

[xxiii] Commissioner of Police and Ors. v. Acharya Jagdishwarananda Avadhuta and Anr., (2004) 12 Supreme Court Cases 770, 3 judge bench decision.

[xxiv] Indian Young Lawyers Association, see above, 5 judge bench decision.

[xxv] Supreme But Not Infallible, p. 259, see above.

[xxvi] Ibid, p. 263.

[xxvii] Indian Young Lawyers Association, Pg. 268, Para 472, see above.

[xxviii] Ibid.

[xxix] Ibid, Pg. 242, Para 418.

[xxx] Ibid, Pg. 188, Para 288.

[xxxi] Ibid, pg. 270, Para 483.

[xxxii] Ibid, pg. 287, Para 538.