Right to worship is a right of every individual in accordance to his personal faith: Madras High Court

In a recent judgment dated 06.10.2022 by Madras High Court it was stated that worshiping of a god cannot be stopped by closing of the temple due to the dispute between the two rival groups and that right to worship is the right of every individual. This was observed in the matter of  K Seeni Thevar v. The Joint Commissioner and others. ( WP(MD) No.23296 of 2022) and was presided over by Hon’ble Mr. Justice K. Kumaresh Babu.


In the petitioner’s instance, the temple belonged to his forefathers and was a place of worship for his neighbors. The temple has been shut down since 2011 as a result of interpersonal conflicts among the locals. As a result of the ongoing civil lawsuits, the Revenue Divisional Officer also requested a peace meeting between the opposing parties and instructed them to resolve their differences there.

Additionally, the petitioner told the court that in a writ petition, the court had instructed the Fit Person to evaluate and decide on the merits of a submission made by one Veerapathiran. In spite of the fact that the court had not issued any such orders, the Fit Person went on to publish a notification alerting the public that the temple will be opened on October 7th as per its instructions. As a result, the petitioner requested that the notice be quashed.


The hon’ble court mentioned that due to the conflict between the two opposing factions, which has not been resolved, the worship of a deity cannot be halted by closing the temple. The court reiterated that the right to worship is a right of every individual according to his personal faith.

The petitioner claimed that the temple belonged to a certain community, but the court noted that no actions were done to formally designate the temple as a private temple in order to support his claim. As a result, the court ordered the Joint Commissioner to conduct an investigation as soon as feasible and within six months of the date of receiving the order in the interest of justice.

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