• The liberty of religious groups to administer their own religious affairs is guaranteed by Article 26 of the Indian Constitution, a crucial tenet of India’s dedication to religious freedom and cultural diversity. Article 26 of the Constitution’s Part III, which covers fundamental rights, defends the autonomy and independence of religious organizations and gives them the right to organize, maintain, and manage their affairs without excessive governmental intrusion.
  • This crucial clause not only demonstrates the regard the constitution’s authors had for India’s many different religious traditions, but it also acts as a protection for the survival of distinctive religious customs and practices.
What does Article 26 states ?

Freedom to manage religious affairs Subject to public order, morality and health, every religious denomination or any section thereof shall have the right

(a) to establish and maintain institutions for religious and charitable purposes;

(b) to manage its own affairs in matters of religion;

(c) to own and acquire movable and immovable property; and

(d) to administer such property in accordance with law.

Clauses of Article 26

Article 26(a)

Institutions used for religious reasons, such as churches, mosques, and temples, are included by this sub-clause. Hospitals, schools, and other institutions are considered charitable. Institution-building and maintenance rights belong to religious denominations. It’s crucial to remember, nevertheless, that administrative administration and the establishment work hand in hand. Only institutions founded by the same religious denomination can be sustained by that denomination.

Article 26(b)

A religious denomination enjoys the freedom to conduct its own business, including the prayers, rites, and ceremonies that are performed, in whatever way they see fit without outside intervention. Only when it threatens the people’ health, morals, or public order is the government allowed to intercede. However, access to religious institutions is a fundamental right of every person. Therefore, according to a liberal interpretation of article 26(b), a religious group is not allowed to discriminate unless there are specific grounds for doing so, such as certain ceremonies that are exclusively done by a particular class.

Article 26(c)

As long as the relevant legal requirements have been satisfied, religious denominations are free to buy and own their own property. It just grants religious organizations the ability to legitimately acquire real estate under their own names.

Article 26(d)

The religious organization that owns the property indicated in the preceding sentence shall be in charge of managing it. This is a continuation of a right that stipulates that the organization that owns the property also has the right to administer it. Such properties will be subject to all laws that apply to properties. In accordance with the legislation, the purchase of a religious property is also permissible as long as it doesn’t reduce any religious subgroups and doesn’t have any special meaning for the target religion.



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