VIJAYAWADA: The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Wednesday expressed displeasure over the functioning of the Endowments Department and its failure to protect the temple lands. The court ruled that the Endowments Commissioner does not have the power to remove the land of a temple from the 22-A (prohibited) list.
The bench of Chief Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra and Justice Rao Raghunandan Rao, issued the orders while dealing with a petition filed by H Gupta and three others, challenging the orders of the commissioner removing two acres of land belonging to Kanchi Kamakshi Ekambareswara Swamy temple in Old Guntur from the 22-A list.
The bench observed that the commissioner issued the orders well aware of the fact that the matter was not under his jurisdiction and his act might benefit some politicians.
Advocate General S Sriram said the orders were kept in abeyance. He felt that the commissioner should have taken legal opinion before issuing the orders.
He said the government is committed to protecting the temple lands and it initiated several measures in this regard. While striking down the orders issued by the commissioner, the bench asked the petitioners to approach the Endowments Tribunal for rights over the said land.