A nine-judge Bench of the Supreme Court on Monday observed that making offerings at places of worship may be a religious practice, but the law can regulate the money donated at such places if it is used for “terrorism” or “running casinos.”

The top court said the old practices of “human sacrifices” and ‘sati’ amounted to murder under law and could not be saved on ground of “essential religious practice.”

The Constitution Bench, headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde, made these observations as it commenced hearing to deliberate upon the issues pertaining to the scope of freedom of religion as also of judicial scrutiny into “essential religious practices” of separate “religious denominations.”

The Bench is also examining the issue whether a person, who does not belong to a particular faith, can file a PIL petition questioning the religious practice of another religion or sect of a religion. The questions have arisen out of a judgment in the Sabarimala case.


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