What is Karnataka Religious Structure (Protection) Bill 2021? Know details here

Know what is Karnataka Religious Structure (Protection) Bill 2021? What it offers and prohibits? Why was it passed?

Created On: Sep 21, 2021 16:09 IST
Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai, Source: PTI
Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai, Source: PTI

The Karnataka Religious Structure (Protection) Bill 2021 was introduced by the Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on September 20, 2021. The Bill aims at protecting illegal religious structures in the state after his government faced a backlash over the demolition of a temple in the Nanjangud district of Mysuru.

The move to table the bill came a day after CM Bommai during the BJP state executive meeting said that his government will take corrective measures over the demolition of the Nanjagud temple.

What is Karnataka Religious Structure (Protection) Bill 2021?

The Karnataka Religious Structure (Protection) Bill 2021 aims to empower the government to protect religious structures in public places that were constructed before the commencement of this Act.

The Bill offers protection to all religious structures that include temples, mosques, churches, gurudwaras, and other major religious constructions in public places that have been constructed since 2009 without requisite sanction from competent authorities.

The Bill is considered necessary to offer protection of religious constructions in a public place in order to protect the communal harmony and not hurt the religious sentiments of the public.

The Bill further here on now restricts unauthorized religious structures and constructions of illegal shrines in public places in the future. The Bill also protects the government and its officials from any legal suits or court proceedings for implementing the Act. The Bill bypasses all existing laws, decrees, judgments, or orders of any court, tribunal, or authority to protect religious structures that exist on the day the Bill commences.

Further rules under the Bill will be subject to approval or annulment by both Houses of the Karnataka Legislature.

Reason for Karnataka Religious Structure (Protection) Bill 2021

On September 8, 2021, the opposition and the pro-Hindi organizations targeted the BJP government over the demolition of the Nanjagud temple. CM Bommai halted the demolition drive which was being carried out on the orders of the Supreme Court and Karnataka High Court to clear all encroachments in public places.

Last week, he also ordered to halt demolition drives of over 6,300 religious places in Karnataka that have encroached public places.

Supreme Court 2009 judgment on demolition of illegal religious structures in public places

The Supreme Court judgment dated September 29, 2009, on illegal religious constructions, had directed all states to demolish illegal religious structures stating that no unauthorized construction in the name of gods or religion can be allowed on streets, parks, or any public places.

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