Even if there is an essential religious practice, it can be regulated if it affects the three grounds in the Article. “This is the hallmark of our Constitution.” CJI says that sati is an example of this.
“Even a religious aspect can be the subject matter of reform.”
CJI asks SG what the point is he making. “You’re saying that religion governs man’s relationship with his Creator ? And all these sects and denominations have the right to regulate and decide the nature of this relationship ? So, are you saying that someone else outside the sect is determining it ?”
SG posits multiple examples in the pluralism available to one religion. “There are denominational rules which exist. Every temple has different codes. Some worship Lord Krishna as a child and others do as a King. If I go to a certain temple which prescribes a dress code, I will follow it.”
1. There are modes of worship, rituals, observances, ceremonies that constitute a religion. It cannot be limited to a doctrine. So, what is this religion.
2. Whether a particular facet is essential or not. Or it will be decided by the denomination concerned. So, the issue is whether the ‘essential practice test’ should be decided by the Court or the religious denomination.