SC dismisses plea against removal Sai Baba's idols

SC dismisses plea against removal Sai Baba's idols

“Hinduism is a way of life and not a religion. Everyone is free to choose his way of worship,” said the Supreme Court on Monday while refusing to intervene in an on-going controversy surrounding removal of Shri Sai Baba’s idol from Hindu temples.

A bench of Justices T S Thakur, Adarsh Kumar Goel and R Banumathi declined to entertain a petition filed by ‘Saidham Charitable Trust’, which managed various temples in Maharashtra, and sought direction to the Centre to restrain Shankaracharya Swami Swaroopanand Saraswati and his followers from making derogatory statements against the saint.

“If there are devotees in a temple and they don’t want an idol, there is no question of our interfering into it. There may be people who worshipped Sai Baba but there are also others like followers of ‘Arya Samaj’ who don’t believe in ‘Murti Puja’ (idol worship),” the bench said.

The court’s observation came after senior advocate C A Sundaram, representing petitioner, pointed out  Dwarikapeeth Shankara-charya has organised a ‘sansad’ and issued ‘fatwa’ against worshipping Shri Sai Baba, which could ignite violence.

“Can you say that he is not entitled to his view? Who is preventing you from your worshipping? This is not something which is manageable judicially,” the bench said.

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