The Madras High Court has upheld the State government order cancelling the exemption granted to the Sri Baktha Anjaneya temple in Nanganallur from certain provisions of the HR&CE Act.
The temple was founded and was being run by Sri Maruthi Baktha Trust, which purchased a land in Nanganallur and constructed the temple in 1985. The government granted exemption to the temple from certain provisions of the HR&CE Act in 1995 and 1996.
However, alleging irregularities in the management of temple collections, the Tourism, Culture and Religious Endowments Department cancelled the exemption granted to the temple by an order in March 19. Hence, the present writ petition.
Dismissing it, Justice KK Sasidharan observed that the trust had no case to show that the trust had constructed the temple following an assurance by the government to give exemption to the temple.
There was no promise from the government before constructing the temple that the provisions of the HR&CE Act would not be made applicable to the temple. The petitioner applied for exemption only after 10 years. The exemption was not limited to a particular period and as such, the government was well within its powers to withdraw it at a later point of time on justifiable reasons.
The government at no point of time assured the trust the entire income generated by the temple could be appropriated for its activities. The exemption order was for the temple and not for the trust. The writ petition was filed on the wrong conception that that the benefit of exemption could be utilised for the trust, the judge said and added that the government was fully justified in passing the cancellation order.