“The writ of mandamus cannot be issued to the legislature to bring about an amendment in a legislation,” remarked the Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice AM Khanwilkar on Friday.
The bench was hearing the application for early hearing in respect of a writ petition filed in 2012, wherein one of the prayers was “issue an appropriate writ, order or direction directing the necessary amendment in the The Bodhgaya Temple Act of 1949 in Section 3(3), substituting the Chairman of the Committee administering the Bodhgaya Temple as a Buddhist and not a Hindu”.
Section 3 of the Act of 1949 envisages the establishment of an 8-member committee to look after the management and control of the Bodh Gaya Temple land and the properties appertaining thereto, of which four members (including the Mahanth, that is, the presiding priest of Saivite Monastery at Bodh Gaya) are mandated to be Hindus.
Further, sub-section (3) of Section 3 provides for the District Magistrate of district Gaya, Bihar, to be the ex-officio Chairman of the said committee. However, the Proviso thereto requires the state government to appoint a Hindu as the chairman of the committee for the period during which the District Magistrate is a non-Hindu.
“Unless the constitutional validity of the enactment is under challenge, we cannot intervene,” observed the bench on Friday, disposing off the writ petition.