Communist govts taking over Hindu temples: Retired SC Justice Indu Malhotra

Retired Justice Indu Malhotra. File photo

A video has emerged of retired Supreme Court justice Indu Malhotra alleging that the communist governments in India are taking over Hindu temples eyeing its revenue.

Justice Malhotra who was in state to attend various events, including the platinum jubilee celebrations of the Trivandrum Medical College, was heard making the controversial remark in public.

"They (communist governments) want to take over (temples) just because of the revenue. Their problem is the revenue. All over they have taken over only Hindu temples. So Justice Lalit and I said, no, we will not allow it," Justice Malhotra is heard in the video that was widely shared on social media.

She was referring to 2020 Supreme Court case on the Padmanabhaswamy Temple, the verdict of which was delivered by herself and Justice Lalit, who is the present Chief Justice of India.

The apex court had then ruled that the Travancore royal family shall have the rights to maintain and manage the centuries-old temple in Thiruvananthapuram.

Justice Malhotra was also part of a five-judge constitution bench that in 2018 ruled in favour of women entry to Sabarimala.

Incidentally, Justice Malhotra's was the sole dissenting verdict while the other four justices had said banning the entry of women to the Lord Ayyappa Shrine was gender discrimination.

On her dissent in the Sabarimala verdict, Justice Malhotra had said "issues of deep religious sentiments should not be ordinarily interfered by the court". She had maintained that the religious practices at the hill shrine, where women of menstrual age are barred from entering, cannot by tested on the basis of Article 14 (equality before law).

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