Karnataka Governor calls ‘Temple bill 2024’ biased and sends back

  • The bill imposed 10% tax on the temples
  • Slap in the face of Karnataka Congress Government
Karnataka Governor Thawar Chand Gehlot

(Credit – DH)

Bengaluru (Karnataka) – Karnataka Governor Thawar Chand Gehlot has returned ‘Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments (Amendment) Bill 2024’ saying that many of its sections were biased. He also sought to know if the State Government has conceptualised any legislation to encompass other religious bodies in a similar fashion and asked the Government to refurnish the bill again.

The Karnataka Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments (Amendment) Bill, 2024, was introduced by the Siddaramaiah-led Congress Government on 21st February and it was passed in the lower house of the assembly. However, it faced defeat by a voice vote in the upper house on 23rd February, where the opposition holds a majority. Later it was passed in both the houses and subsequently sent to the Governor for his signature.

According to this bill, the Government will tax the temples within the State, that have an annual income from Rs 10 Lakh to Rs 1 crore, at the rate of 5%. The temples that have annual income of more than Rs 1 crore will be taxed at 10%. The money thus collected will be used for temples that fall in the ‘C’ grade. One member of the 4-member Executive Committee of the temples should be from the ‘Vishwakarma’ community. There is a proposal to remove the encroachment on the land of temples under the Department of Religious and Charitable Endowments.

We welcome the Governor’s decision to send the bill back – Karnataka Devasthan Mahasangh

“This is a victory for the Karnataka Devasthan Muth and Religious organisations Mahasangh. The Karnataka Devasthan Mahasangh was opposing the bill across more than 15 Districts and appealed to the Governor through the District Officers. The Karnataka Devasthan Muth and Religious organisations Mahasangh welcomes the Governor’s decision of returning the bill. Mahasangh will continue its mission to protect the Hindu temples”, stated Mohan Gowda, State Coordinator of the Mahasangh.

Will other religious institutions be included in the bill ?

Governor Gehlot has asked the Government, ‘Does the State government intend to amend the law related to Hindu religious institutions by including other religious institutions as well ?’ Senior officials of the State Government have said that the bill will be re-sent for approval by the Governor after clarifying the issues raised by him.