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Updated on: Thursday, September 30, 2021, 04:28 PM IST

FPJ Legal: No bar by Constitution on a minor becoming 'sanyasi', says Karnataka High Court

Karnataka High Court | File Photo: PTI

Karnataka High Court | File Photo: PTI

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Bengaluru: The Karnataka High Court upheld the legality of 'bala sanyasi' has dismissed a petition against the anointment of a minor as the seer of Udupi's Shiroor Mutt saying there is no constitutional or statutory bar on anyone becoming a 'Sanyasi'.

The petitioner P Lathavya Acharya, who is a secretary and managing trustee of Sri Shiroor Mutt Bhakta Samiti, Udupi and three others of the Samiti questioned the anointment of Aniruddha Saralathaya (Sanyas name Vedavardhana Teertha), who is under 18 years.

The petition questioned the legality of appointing 16-year-old Aniruddha Saralathaya (now named as Vedavardhana Tirtha) as the Peetadhipathi of the Shiroor Mutt, as per a LiveLaw report.

The division bench of acting Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sachin Shankar said the petitioner failed to make out any violation of any statutory or constitutional provisions by the anointment of Saralathaya as the head of the Shiroor Mutt.

"The courts are certainly not meant to write the religious text, however, they are under an obligation to follow the religious text in the matter of cases dealing with religious dispute and to follow the old practices, which are prevalent in religion so long as they do not violate constitutional rights of an individual," the benched noted.

Citing the example of Buddhism where children become monks, the bench said there was no rule as to the age when a person can be initiated into 'Sanyas'.

The bench also said religious text which have been quoted in the arguments of the amicus curiae makes it very clear that religion permits a person to become a sanyasi before he attain the age of 18 years and there is no such bar

It also said, "The court is not a theological wizard and shall be transgressing its role as a constitutionalist authority by interfering with the essential religious practice, which is certainly not at all opposed to public order, morality, health or any other fundamental right."

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Published on: Thursday, September 30, 2021, 04:28 PM IST
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