VOLUME I - ISSUE IV
By: - Vivek Serjy, 1st year BA. LLB(Hons.), Christ University, Bangalore
Received: August 6 2021; Accepted: 2nd September, 2021; Double Peer Reviewed: November 2021.
India is a secular state which has no official religion of the State. However, all religions are given equal respect and dignity. The people are free to profess, practice and propagate1 their religion and this is protected under the fundamental right of Article 25. It is to be noted that the Supreme Court is the custodian of the Constitution and has the right to interfere in the legislations that violate the Fundamental rights of the Citizens i.e through the process of Judicial review. On other hand, the practices that are inherent and essential part of the religion cannot be interfered with by the Judiciary or any other organ as it is protected by the Constitution.
Eversince the case of ‘The Commissioner, Hindu Religious Endowments, Madras vs Sri Lakshmindra Thirtha Swamiyar of Sri Thirur Mutt’, the Apex Court has developed the doctrine of the Essentiality test to determine whether the religious practice is essential part of the religion or not. The primary goal of the research paper is to analyse how the Judiciary employs this test to different cases pertinent to religious practice and describe the criticisms followed on this test. Also, the research also analyses how the role of the Supreme Court varied from the interpreter of the Constitution to the role of theological interpreter. The research is based primarily on the ratio and judgements of the cases. In the end, the overall utility of the essentiality test would be elucidated.
Vivek Serjy "THE DOCTRINE OF ESSENTIAL PRACTICES OF RELIGION", JULS Vol. 1(IV), pp. 85-94 (2021), https://www.uniquelaw.in/the-doctrine-of-essential-practices-of-religion