Amicus Curiae Law Insider IN
Amicus Curiae Law Insider IN

Snehal Upadhyay-

Published on: September 14, 2021, at 13:17 IST

The Karnataka High Court will examine the legality of ‘Bala Sanyasa’ and appointed an Amicus Curiae to look upon the legal bar of minors taking sanyasa.

The term ‘Bala Sanyasa’ means any minor becoming a swami or a sanyasi.

A Division Bench of the Karnataka High Court comprising the Acting Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum has appointed Senior Advocate SS Naganand as Amicus Curiae to look upon the legal bar of minors taking sanyasa.

The Court questioned that “Is there any law that prevents a 16 year from being a swami? Look at Buddhism.”

The Court was dealing with a petition which questioned the legality of sanctifying a 16-year-old minor as the Matadhipathi (Chief Pontiff) of the Udupi Shiroor Mutt community.

The petition was brought by a managing trust of Sri Shiroor Mutt Bhaktha Samithi, Udupi. Advocate P Lathavya Acharya represented the petitioner.

During the hearing, the petitioner stated that “The practice of balasanyasa or imposition of sanyasa on minor amounts to material abandonment of the minor and that it violates the rights of the minor guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India, and consequently such practice violates Article 39 (e) & (f) of the Constitution of India.”

The petition contends that Article 21 which is a Fundamental Right granted under the Indian Constitution has to be read in unification with the rights guaranteed to a citizen against Sanyasa, consequently, the constitutional scheme itself mentions that a minor cannot be imposed with Sanyasa.

The petition further states “In the present case, the minor is imposed with Sanyasa while the authorities concerned have remained dormant and inactive permitting the rights of the minor child being violated. The minor is also not from an affluent background and perhaps the economic condition has been misused in even taking the Child’s Parents into confidence in undertaking this exercise and needless to state that under the scheme of the extant laws relating to the rights of a guardian, even a guardian, whether legal or natural is not empowered to give any consent for material abandonment or imposition of Sanyasa on the minor child.”

The Counsel representing the State Government stated that there was no such judgement made by any Court which stops a minor from becoming a sanyasi

The matter will be further heard on September 23, 2021.

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