Patna High Court dismisses plea alleging illegal transfer of land to Math

The Patna High Court dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed alleging illegal transfer of lands by a "Math".

The PILfurther alleged that certain lands allegedly belonging to the Math being illegally mutated in the name of a certain “influential person” who also has not been made a party to the instant proceedings. The petitioner has also emphasised the need to make appointment of a new Mahanth for the Math in question.

The Division Bench of Chief Justice K. Vinod Chandran and Justice Madhuresh Prasad noted that from the averments made in the petition that the petitioner has been pursuing the issue before the authorities including the Bihar State Board of Religious Trust.

The petitioner’s efforts have finally culminated in a report being submitted by the Circle Officer, Bochaha, Muzaffarpur. The petitioner’s complaint has been found to be baseless. Thereafter, the petitioner claims to have represented before the Chief Secretary, Government of Bihar, Divisional Commissioner, Tirhut Division as well as the Bihar State Board of Religious Trust.

The counsel for the State, however, submits that the Tribunal constituted under Section 43 of the Bihar Hindu Religious Trust Act, 1950 is the appropriate authority for looking into the nature of grievance in the instant writ proceedings.

However, there is no averment in the petition that the petitioner has exhausted the remedy available to her under Section 43 of the Act.

Considering the rival submissions, the High Court is not inclined to proceed with the instant proceedings as a Public Interest Litigation. The petitioner was required to invoke remedy as provided under Section 43 of the Act wherein only after hearing the parties concerned, the Tribunal would have taken a decision on the petitioner’s grievance, the Court observed.