Karnataka govt tables bill to protect religious structures on public places

2 months ago 20

The Karnataka Cabinet on Monday tabled a bill, seeking to provide protection to religious places and restrict unauthorised religious structure and constructions on public places.

The development comes after the demolition of a Hindu temple at Nanjangud in Mysuru district sparked controversy, with former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah saying the BJP government should have consulted the local residents before taking such an action, ''which has hurt the religious sentiments of the people".

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai tabled the Karnataka Religious Structures (Protection) Bill, 2021, on Monday in the state assembly after it was approved by the state cabinet.

WHAT DOES THE BILL SAY?

The definition of a religious structure, according to the bill, includes “temple, church, mosque, Gurudwara, Bodh vihar, Majar etc, constructed on public place without authority of law [sic].”

The bill aims to “provide for protection of religious constructions on a public placein order to protect communal harmony and not to hurt the religious sentiments of the public [sic]. “

According to the state government, the bill is also necessary to “restrict unauthorised religious structure and constructions on public places in future.”

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The proposed legislation also states, “No suit, prosecution or other legal proceeding shall lie against the state government or any officer, or over employees of the state government for anything which is in good faith done or intended to be done under this Act or rules made there under.”

The bill, however, states that no protection shall be provided to religious structure, “if any case relating to the removal is pending in any court of law and in such other circumstances as may be prescribed.

The bill adds, “No religious structure and construction shall be allowed by the State Government or any Local Authority in future on a public place.”

The bill, if passed, will come into force at once.

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