Devotees approached HC for printing Ibrahim’s name in invitation

Bengaluru: Mahalingeshwara temple devotees has approached the High Court against the printing of Dakshina Kannada Deputy Commissioner A B Ibrahim’s name in the invitation for this year’s car festival of the temple which is scheduled to be held from April 1 to 20, 2016.

The Sangh Parivar objected that including the name of a non-Hindu in the temple’s annual festival was in violation of the law.

According to VHP leader and advocate Jagadish Shenava, it is a clear violation of the Endowment Act which says a non-Hindu cannot be involved in the temple’s affairs.

Hearing the petition filed by Naveen Kulal contended that as per Section 7 of the Karnataka Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments Act 1997, only officers professing Hindu religion could be given charge of Hindu religious institutions.

Justice A S Bopanna adjourned the hearing to Monday after asking the petitioner the notification of appointing the Deputy Commissioner under Section 4 of the Act to Dakshina Kannada district.

When the government advocate objected to the petition. The judge said.“A temple is like a company and devotees are like shareholders and they can always maintain a petition”.

A circular which is issued in 2014 was produced by government counsel that says that when a non-Hindu officer is appointed as Deputy Commissioner of a district, then the Additional Deputy Commissioner, who professes Hindu religion, should be made in charge for discharging duties under the Act. The government counsel told the court that Mr. Ibrahim’s name was printed on the invitation as per protocol.