KOCHI: A petition has been filed before the Kerala High Court challenging the state government’s ordinance to reduce tenure of Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) members from three to two years.
The petition was filed by former TDB president Prayar Gopalakrishnan and former member Ajay Tharayil. They sought the court to declare their removal by promulgation of the ordinance as unconstitutional, void and illegal.
According to the petitioners, they are entitled to hold office until their tenure expires as per section 10 of the Travancore Cochin Hindu Religious Act, which fixed the tenure. As per the Supreme Court’s decision in the T P Senkumar case, the state government cannot alter the tenure fixed in an Act. Thus, the government is acting without jurisdiction in interfering with the tenure either by an ordinance or by an executive order, the plea stated.
The petitioners stated the introduction of the ordinance suddenly, without bringing it in the recent Assembly session was unconstitutional.Forcing the promulgation of the ordinance on the eve of the Sabarimala season is ill-motivated, the plea stated.