Freedom of Religion (Article 25 to 28)
Introduction to Freedom of Religion
The Constitution of India ensures various fundamental rights to citizens. One of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitution is the right to freedom of religion. India is a secular nation and therefore every citizen living within the territory of India believes in the right to practice religion. This right gives every Indian citizen the right and the freedom to practice and propagate the religion of his choice. This right gives him the freedom to preach about his religion, to spread it without fear of government retaliation, and to ensure that it is p vigorously within the country’s jurisdiction.
Every person has the freedom to believe in the religious beliefs of any particular religion or denomination. The distribution of this right under the Constitution is essentially an opportunity for every person to express openly, freely and without hesitation what he or she feels about his or her religion, including his or her ideas and ideologies related to religious practice. The right to guess a particular religion enables a person to communicate his or her thinking process, mentality, and outlook with other people to propagate his or her religion and to make it clear in their head, clearly, and in their head.
When we talk about India, we can say that it is a land of diversity in terms of race, religion, caste, community, caste, etc. It has been inhabited by dialects and various theologians since ancient times. Differences in community or religion or caste are not considered as a hindrance or an obstacle when it comes to development but it is considered as an important issue which not only helps in enriching the culture but also in the society as a whole.
India is neutral, neutral and neutral when it comes to practice religious faith. The Constitution guarantees that no citizen shall be deprived of the right to peacefully practice the religion of his choice within the domain of India. The Constitution places the highest importance on the concept of secularism. Secularism has great significance and it also enjoys dignified recognition in the eyes of the law. Inspired by the 42nd amendment to the constitution, the word ‘secular’ was introduced.
Freedom of Religion:-
Article 25 to 28 enshrined in the Indian Constitution as the fundamental rights of the citizens. It ensures the right to freedom of religion to all citizens living within the territory of the country.
- Freedom of conscience and free occupation of religion (Article 25)
- Freedom of Religious Affairs (Article 26)
- Freedom from paying tax for preaching a particular religion (Article 27)
- Freedom to participate in religious instruction (Article 28)
Article 25 of the Indian Constitution: Freedom of Conscience and Free Career, Practice and Promotion of Religion
- Article 25 of the Indian Constitution gives the citizens of our country the freedom to choose or follow any religion. The word freedom to conscience simply means following any belief in the case of religion or others.
- Article 19 of the Indian Constitution gives the right to freedom of speech and expression, it also paints a picture of freedom of religion in India. This was because even after the partition Pakistan, Muslims and people of different religions were scattered in different parts of our country.
- This is why the Constituent Assembly has enshrined the right to choose one’s religion very clearly, including a group of separate articles. They seemed to need to do so even after many speeches by the Advisory Committee on Fundamental Rights, Minorities and Tribal Leaders. The term secular is not related to religious or spiritual matters, only appears in Article 25 of the Indian Constitution.
- Case Law– In the case of Krishna Singh V. Mathura Ahir ( AIR 1980 SC 707), the Supreme Court held that fundamental rights do not touch upon the private law of the parties. Article 25 thus implicates a separation between religious activities and one the other hand secular activities.
Article 26 of the Indian Constitution: Freedom of Religious Affairs
- Article 26 of the Indian Constitution gives the right to establish and maintain an institution freely for religious and charitable work. These institutions, which are not funded or run by the state, can provide religious education.
- This right is reserved and restricted only to Indian citizens. No foreigner can claim this right. This was done so that the evangelists removed their religious homes to avoid the repetition of the wider history. Also, these organizations are free to manage their internal affairs. They can buy or sell the permanent or temporary property. They have the right to retain these properties as long as they are subject to the law.
- Case Law– In the case of Sarup Singh V. State of Punjab ( AIR 1959 SC 860), the Supreme Court said that religion matters are entirely outside the pale of the law, it is not so concerning the property which has to be held and enjoyed as per the law.
Article 27 of the Indian Constitution: Freedom from paying tax for preaching a particular religion
- Article 27 of the Constitution of India stated that no person shall be obliged to pay any income tax specially allocated to pay for the promotion or maintenance of a particular religion or religious community.
- This Article states that no citizen has to pay any taxes or fees to the state to maintain or practice a particular religion. This includes funds to maintain the property owned by such institutions. Also, no taxes or funds may be raised for the propagation of any religion under any circumstances. This was done in such a way that no particular religion was given in such a way that it could dominate people following other religions.
- Case Law– In the case of Ramchandra V. State of West Bengal (AIR 1966 Cal 164), the Calcutta High Court stated that Article 27 does not abolish the tax to provide some services. Thus a fee can be charged on pilgrims to a religious fair to meet the expense of the measures taken to ensure the health, safety and welfare of the Pilgrims.
Article 28 of Indian Constitution: Freedom to participate in religious instruction
- Article 28 states that religious education will not be given in any government-funded or held college or school or any kind of institution. Institutions that are partially funded by state funds may provide religious education. Students in such institutions cannot be compelled to take part in any religious activities or ceremonies.
- However, students may be forced to participate in organizations that are established solely for religious purposes and do not have government support.
- Case Law – In the case of Aruna Roy V. Union of India (AIR 2002 SC 3176), the Supreme Court stated that Article 28 does not ban a study of religion. In this provision, there is no prohibition on the study of religious ideology and culture.
India is a secular country but still, India is connected with religions from ancient times. Every religion is equal under the eyes of the Constitution of India. Religion plays a significant part in our social life. Article 25-28 of the Constitution of India secures all the religious right of the citizens. If any rights under this Articles are infringed, the person can appeal to the High Court and the Supreme Court of India for justice. This fundamental right makes India, a secular country, where every religion lived with harmony.
Author: Shreeparna Goswami,
2nd Year B.A.LL.B of Shyambazar Law College