Legal Significance

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In the Indian court system, the deity is legally considered as a perpetual minor. The concept of perpetual minor was originated taking into consideration the fact that the deity is not in a position to come out of the temple and approach the authorities including the Courts to establish its legal rights.

Based on this, the legal proposition of “parens patriae” jurisdiction was formulated as far the deities are concerned by the Courts in India which means that the Courts and Government have a duty as parent to protect the interest of the “minor” deities. There are established legal propositions by the High Court of Kerala as well as the Supreme Court that whatever be the documents that are executed as against the property of the deity, it will have no legal binding effect on the deity. It is also well settled that no one can claim adverse possession against deities. The word “Devaswom” means property of the deity.

The Courts have held that once there is an entrustment/dedication of any property to the deity, it has to always remain as the property of the deity. Even the provisions of Kerala Land Reforms Act have exempted the temple properties from its purview by Section 3(10) of the above said Act. It is in spite of these legally settled principles, thousands upon thousands of hectares of temple properties i.e., the property of legally minor deities, have been encroached upon by individuals as well as the Government, and such illegal possessions have been “legalized” by the Government. It is in this backdrop and context, a Trust in the name of ‘Saketham Hindu Litigants’ was registered. Over and above issues of reclamation of properties of temples, there are several other issues that are seriously haunting the Sanathana Dharma Followers.


Religious traditions, beliefs and rituals of Hindu community are subjected to severe attack from all corners especially from the leadership of Communist Parties of Kerala discreetly supported by Christians and Muslim Groups. There were several attempts made in the recent past directly attacking the religious existence of Hindu Community by attempting to destroy all the traditions, rituals and faith of Hindus in temples like Sabarimala.

There were, even instances like issuance of written orders prohibiting display of saffron flags in temples and there were several attempts to damage the sanctity and divinity of the temples by trying to convert temples into places of commercial activities by attempting to lease out the temple properties for cultivation and also attempting to start fish-farming in sacred temple tanks.

All such attempts were thwarted in a timely manner by approaching the Judicial Forums. So a forum for protecting the interest of the Hindu Samajam, protecting its tradition, faith and rituals is highly necessary to take the battle against such illegalities to the appropriate Judicial Forums.