Smartha Brahmins Not A Religious Denomination, Madras High Court & More news


The Madras High Court just lately noticed that the Smartha Brahmins have been only a caste/neighborhood with none peculiarity particularly attributable to them that distinguished them from different Brahmins of the State of Tamil Nadu. Thus, they may not be recognized as a spiritual denomination and weren’t entitled to advantages below Article 26 of the Constitution.

Justice R Vijayakumar of the Madurai Bench was contemplating an utility made by some members belonging to the Smartha Brahmin neighborhood claiming minority standing for an establishment run by them. Observing that the appellants had failed to ascertain that they represent a denomination as Smartha Brahmins within the state of Tamil Nadu, the courtroom held that the swimsuit was primarily filed solely to wriggle out of the provisions of the Tamil Nadu Recognised Private Schools Regulations Act 1973 by invoking the advantages below Article 26 of the Constitution.


The appellants are the unique plaintiffs who had approached the Principal District Munsif Court for the reduction of declaration that the plaintiffs are entitled to the advantages and privileges conferred below Article 25(1), Article 26, Article 29(1) and Article 30(1) of Indian Constitution in view of their minority character. The swimsuit was dismissed by the trial courtroom. On attraction, the Subordinate Judge concurred with the findings of the trial courtroom and dismissed the attraction. Hence the plaintiffs approached the High Court.

Contention of the Appellant

The appellants contended that the Smartha Brahmins have a specific philosophy of Advaitham propounded by Sri Adi Sankara. Their mode of worship and residing was utterly distinct from the mainstream Hindus. The ceremonies attendant upon the demise of Smartha Brahmins have been additionally completely different from that adopted by mainstream Hindus. He relied on the selections of the Supreme Court in Dr.Subramanian Swamy Vs. State of Tamil Nadu and others (2014) 5 SCC 75 and the choice of division bench of Madras High Court in Marimuthu Deekshtar Vs. State 1952 1 MLJ Page 557 the place the courts have held that Smartha Brahmins represent a denomination.

The appellants thus contended that since Smartha Brahmins have been a denomination, the establishment was entitled to get safety below Article 26 of the Constitution. This safety couldn’t be taken away simply because the establishment has acquired a grant from the State of Tamil Nadu.

Contention of the Respondent

The respondents contended that after the enactment of the National Commission for Minority Educational Institution Act 2004, any instructional establishment which claims minority standing might method the Commission for declaration of the minority standing, and a civil swimsuit for a similar was not maintainable.

It was additionally contended that the Smartha Brahmins within the state of Tamil Nadu weren’t following any specific spiritual perception which was utterly distinct from different Hindus. The indisputable fact that that they had restricted their prayer within the second attraction with regard to advantages and privileges below Article 26 of the Constitution will clearly reveal that the plaintiffs had given up their declare as minority standing.

Courts Observation

The courtroom noticed that regardless that the swimsuit was filed in a consultant capability, there have been no data to point out that the swimsuit was instituted as contemplated below Order 1 Rule 8 CPC. There was nothing to point out that an utility was filed to this impact searching for permission from the courtroom to file the swimsuit in a consultant capability.

Further, the oral proof of the witnesses clearly establishes that Smartha Brahmins don’t comply with any distinct or completely different spiritual beliefs apart from that of the Hindus following the mainstream Hindu faith. Whatever is claimed to be adopted by the Smartha Brahmins is being adopted by different Brahmins additionally.

The courtroom drew consideration to the choice of the Supreme Court in S.P.Mittal Vs. Union of India and others (1983) 1 SCC Page 51 the place the courtroom had noticed as follows:

“80. The words “spiritual denomination” in Article 26 of the Constitution must take their colour from the word “faith” and if this be so, the expression “spiritual denomination” must also satisfy three conditions:

(1) It must be a collection of individuals who have a system of beliefs or doctrines which they regard as conducive to their spiritual well-being, that is, a common faith;

(2) common organisation; and

(3) designation by a distinctive name”

This resolution was adopted by the Madras High Court in its later judgments additionally. The courtroom held that within the current case, the appellants had not established that they have been a group of people who’ve a specific system of perception or doctrine. They had additionally not established that they’ve a typical organisation or that they’re having an impartial designation or a particular title. Thus, they may not be construed as a denomination.

Case Title: Smartha Barhmins residing within the State of Tamil Nadu working towards and propagating the Religious Philosophy and tents of Advaitha Philosophy by P.S Sundaram and others v. Union of India and others

Case No: S.A No. 1609 of 2000

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 249

Counsel for Appellants: Mr B Kumar Senior Counsel for Mr R Kannan

Counsel for Respondents: Mr. Sankaranarayanan, ASG assisted by Mr. G Raja Raman, Central Govt. Standing Counsel (R1) and Mr. G Siva Raja Government Advocate (For R2 and R3)


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