Indian Ecclesiastical Jurisprudence

Ecclesiastical Jurisprudence in India… revolves around the exposition of the Constitutional Guarantees under Articles 25 and 26 as made from time to time. The development of this branch of jurisprudence primarily arises out of claimed rights of religious groups and denominations to complete autonomy and the prerogative of exclusive determination of essential religious practices.

A decision on such claims becomes the duty of the Constitutional Court… performance of such tasks is not enjoined in the Court by virtue of any Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction conferred on it but in view of its role as the Constitutional Arbiter. 

A religious denomination does not have ‘complete autonomy’ in deciding what is essential to its religion… However, the exercise of judicial power to determine essential religious practices, though always available being an inherent power to protect the guarantees under Articles 25 and 26, the exercise thereof must always be restricted and restrained.”

– Hon’ble Justice Ranjan GogoiAdi Saiva v. The Government of Tamil Nadu, [Writ Petition (Civil) No. 354 of 2006].