In another case of temple vandalization in Andhra Pradesh, the miscreants targeted the famous Ramatheertham in Vizianagaram district and desecrated 400-year-old idol of Bhagwan Ram.
- The Ramatheertham temple in Nellimarla Mandal of Vizianagaram District, Andhra Pradesh is dedicated to Lord Sri Rama.
- This temple belongs to 3rd Century.
- It is located on the Bavikonda Hills.
- River Champa flows beneath the Hill between Bhaskara Lake and Neelachalam Hills.
- The idols in the temple are installed by Pandavas during their exile period of 12 years.
- Sri Pedda Jiyar Swamy installed Ramasthoopam in the temple. Ramatheertham is also famous for Buddhist monastery and Jain Thirthankars.
- The idol of the ancient temple was found vandalised with its head missing on Tuesday morning by priests.
- Later, several portions of the 400-year-old idol were found from a nearby pond.
Legal status of idols
- Under the Indian Judicial system, Idols have been given the status of a legal person.
Idol of a God in a temple is an artificial person and can sue when someone tries to damage it. The caretaker of the Idol (Mahant) of the temple will sue on behalf of the Idol.
|Important SC’s Observations on idolsDakor Temple Case: In 1887, the Bombay High Court held in the Dakor Temple case: “Hindu idol is a juridical subject and the pious idea that it embodies is given the status of a legal person.”|
Vidya Varuthi Thirtha vs Balusami Ayyar: This was reinforced in the 1921 order in Vidya Varuthi Thirtha vs Balusami Ayyar, where the court said, “under the Hindu law, the image of a deity (is) a ‘juristic entity’, vested with the capacity of receiving gifts and holding property”.
In Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee vs Som Nath Dass and Others (2000), the Supreme Court said: “The very words Juristic Person connote recognition of an entity to be in law a person which otherwise it is not. In other words, it is not an individual natural person but an artificially created person which is to be recognised to be in law as such.
” Sabarimala case: In the Sabarimala case, one of the arguments presented against allowing women of menstruating age entry into the temple was that this would violate the right to privacy of Lord Ayyappa, who is eternally celibate.