Q. In a case there is dispute between the parties inter se with regard to right of worship in a Mandir. Whether a suit can be filed in respect of this case? Give reasons and also refer case law, if any on this point.
Delhi Higher Judicial Service (Additional District Judge) Exam. 2001
Ans: Yes, the suit can be filed in this case as it is a suit of civil nature—Waman Balwant Kashiker v. Balu, 44 B 410, Jagannath v. Akali, 21 C 463 AND Gapanna v. Ramaswami, AIR 1944 M 416.
Reasons: The right to worship is a civil right and in order to establish this right a suit can be brought in civil court. Thus, a suit relating to right to worship is a suit of civil nature, although the dispute is relating to right to worship in a Mandir (temple) which is a religious institution.
The above mentioned view was also taken by courts in above referred cases of Waman v. Balu, Jagnnath v. Akali AND Gopanna v. Ramaswami.
In the instant problem, the dispute between the parties inter se is regarding right of worship in a Mandir. Thus, in view of the decision given by various High Courts of India in above referred cases like Waman v. Balu, Jagannath v. Akali AND Gopanna v. Ramswami, it is a suit of civil nature and a suit can be instituted in respect of the matter which is in question and it is immaterial that the right to worship relates to a temple (mandir) which belongs to an institution of religious character.
Source: Kishor Prasad, Problems & Solutions in Civil Law