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Karnataka HC refuses to entertain PIL plea on temples

A division bench comprising Chief Justice N V Anjaria and Justice K V Aravind declined to entertain the petition filed by the Akhila Karnataka Hindu temple archakas (priests) association.
Last Updated : 12 June 2024, 23:27 IST

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The High Court of Karnataka on Wednesday dismissed a PIL petition for declaring that temples in Karnataka are not public authorities within the ambit of the RTI Act. 

A division bench comprising Chief Justice N V Anjaria and Justice K V Aravind declined to entertain the petition filed by the Akhila Karnataka Hindu temple archakas (priests) association. 

The petitioners had also urged the court to direct the government to withdraw the notification issued in 2007 and subsequent notifications in this regard. 

‘Staff harassed’

The petitioners’ grievance was that certain individuals claiming to be whistleblowers are harassing the archakas and temple staff by filing applications under the Right to Information Act. 

Endowments Act

The bench noted that the notification mentioned that temples covered under the Karnataka Hindu Religious and Endowments Act have been asked to comply with the requirements of the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

It further said information would have to be provided by the Principal Information Officer and not the archakas.

The high court also said that the subject matter cannot become a public interest litigation. 

‘Doors not closed’

“While parting, it is, however, clarified that the dismissal of this petition will not close the doors for the individual body to agitate their rights in appropriate petition to contend that it does not fall within ambit of public authority defined under Right to Information Act. The court, however, does not express any opinion on that score,” the bench said. 

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Published 12 June 2024, 23:27 IST

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