No jobs for people of other religions in temples: Andhra HC

Petitioner challenged his removal from service by the Srisailam Devasthanam after it was found that he concealed his identity as a Christian and got compassionate appointment as a record assistant.

Published: 21st November 2023 10:54 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st November 2023 10:54 AM   |  A+A-

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By Express News Service

VIJAYAWADA: The Andhra Pradesh High Court has ruled that people of other religions are not eligible for employment in temples. Only those who follow Hindu religion are eligible to work in temples, the court said.

Justice Harinath Nunepally gave the orders recently while dismissing a petition filed by P Sudershan Babu challenging his removal from service by the Srisailam Devasthanam executive officer after it was found that he concealed his identity as a Christian and got compassionate appointment as a record assistant. 

In 2002, Sudershan Babu claimed that he belonged to the SC (Mala) community and a Hindu, and got the compassionate appointment. 

Later, he married a woman belonging to the Christian community in the Holy Cross Church in 2010, after which petitions were filed against him in the Lokayukta for getting the job by falsely claiming as a Hindu. 
In his response to the notice by Lokayukta, Sudershan Babu claimed that he did not conceal his faith and produced his caste and school certificates. 

After going through various documents, the Lokayukta found that Sudershan Babu got the job by concealing his religion. Following this, the Srisailam temple EO issued orders removing him from service.
In 2012, Sudershan Babu approached the High Court challenging his removal from service. 

After examining various documents during the hearing, Justice Harinath said in the register of the Holy Cross Church, the petitioner’s religion was mentioned as Christian and it had the signature of the petitioner.

Justice Harinath said if Sudershan Babu had married the woman without converting into Christianity, it should have been registered under the Special Marriages Act, 1954 and the marriage certificate should also be issued as per the Act. The same, however, was not done in Sudershan Babu’s case.

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