The Karnataka High Court on Monday dismissed a public interest litigation petition which had complained about caste discrimination in serving food at Kukke Subramanya temple during the annual Shasti festival, after the petitioners chose to withdraw their petition.

The petition was withdrawn after a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice D.H. Waghela and Justice S.N. Satyanarayana indicated that it cannot entertain the petition as the petitioners have not shown any illegality.

The Bench orally said that the courts can’t interfere in the religious customs practiced from time immemorial.

The petitioners complained that the “anna prasadam” was not served to non-Brahmins at the forecourt of the temple during the annual festival and this practice violated Article 14 of the Constitution.

‘Abdicated’

In another case, the Bench orally observed that the State government and the Karnataka Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board have abdicated their duties as only 3.2 lakh building workers have been registered for extending benefits to them as per law.

Noticing that the law to extend benefits to them came into force in 1996 and that the board was formed for this purpose about six years ago, the Bench said that only 3.2 lakh workers have been registered so far as against an estimated 20 lakh workers. “It is pathetic,” the Bench described the process of registration.

Earlier, counsel for the board submitted that shortage of staff and other duties assigned to the staff are causing delay in registration process, while pointing out that the officers are visiting construction sites twice a week to enrol workers.

'The Bench adjourned hearing on the issue while asking the board to submit its requirements to expedite the registration process.

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