European Ombudsman rejects Hindus' request regarding equality of religions in Malta

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Nevada (US), July 7 (ANI): European Ombudsman has rejected Hindus' complaint regarding equality of treatment of all religions before the Maltese law.

In a response to the complaint of Bhavna Shinde of Forum for Hindu Awakening, European Ombudsman P. Nikiforos Diamandouros wrote: "I am not entitled to deal with your complaint".

Diamandouros explained: The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and the Statute of the European Ombudsman set certain conditions as to the opening of an enquiry by the Ombudsman. One of these conditions is that the Ombudsman shall help to uncover maladministration in the activities of the Union institutions, bodies, offices and agencies such as the European Parliament and the European Commission. No action by any other authority or person may be the subject of a complaint to the Ombudsman. After a careful examination of your complaint, it appears that this condition is not met, because your complaint is not related to an act of a Union institution, body, office or agency, but it is against a provision in the Maltese Criminal Code.

Shinde's complaint to Ombudsman earlier stated: Malta Criminal Code reportedly makes one liable to imprisonment up to 6 months for publicly vilifying 'Roman Catholic Apostolic Religion', while committing such an act against 'any cult tolerated by law' makes one liable to imprisonment only up to 3 months. Please investigate it and ensure that Malta treats all the religions and denominations equally in front of the law.

Meanwhile, acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed has said that Malta herself should relook into this part of Malta Criminal Code and amend it to make all religions and denominations equal before the law, in line with the equality goals of the European Union. Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, further said that it would make Malta even more attractive to global businesses and tourism.

Maltese islands were first settled reportedly in 5,200 BCE. Few European countries have such concentrated architecture, history, and beaches in so small an area as Malta. Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal. (ANI)

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