The first bench comprising Chief Justice AP Sahi and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy on refusing to concede to the petitioner’s submission sought the latter to withdraw the plea lest they dismissed it. However, the bench on observing that the management of temples has nothing to do with the right to worship and one can worship as much as they want, allowed the petitioner liberty to come up with a better petition if needed. Petitioner Arjunan Elayaraja had contended that the legislation is discriminatory as it controls only temples and not other religious bodies. The petitioner also submitted that the Act has curtailed worshipping rights of Hindus, while rights of people following other religions are not curtailed. Petitioner’s counsel R Gururaj submitted that being a secular State, Tamil Nadu cannot come up with such legislation. “Only Hindus are not permitted to worship as per their wishes,” he claimed.
However, the bench wondered as to whether the petitioner is aware of the Wakf Act and the Sikh Gurdwaras Act. “The petitioner’s arguments might be appreciated in the courts of the US. There the States have legal restriction in passing laws. But here things are different,” it said.
It noted that the constitutional bench of the Apex Court has already upheld such legislations.