Followers of the Hindu Sanatana Dharma have moved the Supreme Court seeking impleadment in a challenge to a 2015 Andhra Pradesh government order prohibiting non-Hindus from obtaining leases and licences for shops, malls and shopping complexes belonging to Hindu religious institutions..Through the government order, the State government had made an amendment to the Andhra Pradesh Charitable and Hindu Religious Institutions and Endowments Immovable Properties and Other Right (Other than Agricultural Lands) Leases and Licenses Rules, 2003 to add the following clause:"No person professing other than Hinduism as his religion is entitled to obtain lease or license either through tender – cum – public auction or otherwise.".The government order was then challenged before the Andhra Pradesh High Court. The petitioners, all Muslims, said that the 2015 government order violated their right to life as they ran shops at these properties leased to them in accordance with norms. The High Court had in September 2019 upheld the government order, prompting an appeal before the Supreme Court. A Bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and KM Joseph had stayed the judgment in January 2020.In a contempt petition filed in the case, another Bench headed by Justice Chandrachud had directed the Andhra Pradesh government on December 17 last year to grant licence and lease for shops to non-Hindus as well."...we direct that none of the tenants/shop holders shall be excluded from participating in the auction or from the grant of leases including in the shopping complex on the ground of their religion," the Court had ordered..The applicants have now filed an impleadment application seeking to assist the Court and to protect their interests as devotees. They have expressed reservations on purchasing goods for deity offerings from non-Hindu shops and claim that they have all rights to offer Bhog, prasad etc to the deity as per their own religious belief and ritual. "Therefore, the devotees have right to purchase/collect the object of worship from the shops/persons of their choice who believe in the authority of Lord Mallikarjun and have sentiments in preparing such articles maintaining the cleanness and purity as required in traditional pooja," the application stated..Invoking their right to freedom of worship and to manage religious affairs under Articles 25 and 26 of the Constitution, the applicants stated,"It cannot be disputed that Muslims or Christians cannot permit any Hindu to take part in their religious functions. The applicants have no grievance against such attitude but at the same time they cannot claim any right in the temple property and cannot interfere in any manner with the religious ceremonies being observe by Hindu devotees.".The application filed through Advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain further stated that the State government had previously granted licenses to non-Hindus within temple areas, which resulted in such people trying to desecrate the object of worship and also undertake prejudicial activities within temple premises. These persons, the applicants claim, tried to propagate their own religion and molested and kidnapped women, while the State administration remained silent for political reasons.It is further stated that the High Court, while upholding the government order, noted that non-Hindus were displaying photos of their religion at the temple premises, offering prayers at the shops within temple premises, celebrating their festivals and distributing beef and other meat, and spreading hatred..Claiming that "the right to worship guaranteed under Article 25 cannot be eroded by the principles of secularism and the same cannot be pressed in the matter of belief, faith an worship practice by Hindus," the applicants sought impleadment in the matter.