New Delhi – During the hearing of the petition filed against the DMK Government of Tamil Nadu for taking over the management of 38,000 temples, the Supreme Court, has sought an explanation from the Government through a notice about the reasons for taking over these temples. The DMK Government has even stayed the appointment of Trustees in these temples while taking over their management. The petition against the State Government has been filed by a NGO called ‘Indic Collective Trust’. The petition says the following :
While the ‘Conditions for Appointment of Executive Officers Rules, 2015’ limit appointments of Executive Officers to a maximum of five years, the Executive Officers (EOs) appointed by the State Government were appointed indefinitely without any conditions prescribed in their appointment orders.
The Counsel for the petitioner, Senior Advocate CS Vaidyanathan, submitted that the Government-appointed EOs have been diverting temple funds which were created from religious donations given by devotees for their salaries and purposes which were not religious in nature.
“It is also a matter of concern that the Respondents have placed EOs in several temples with abysmally low income This would show that the Respondents have been indiscriminately taking control of several temples without any valid reason and in complete violation of the law”, the petition states.
Referring to a case filed by Dr Subramanian Swamy against the Tamil Nadu Government, the petition states that the management of temples should be handed over to the concerned people once the mismanagement is set right. Not doing so would be a violation of the fundamental rights under the Constitution.
— Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) December 15, 2022
Temples once taken over, are never given back to the devotees !
The Counsel for the petitioner said that in the past 70 years there had been no recorded instance where in the Tamil Nadu Hindu Religious & Charitable Endowments Department had handed over a temple back to the Trustees or the community concerned after it had taken over the administration of temples.
Such notice now needs to be issued to the Government of every State in India !