Hearing a public interest litigation petition to abolish the system of collecting fees from devotees to get quick darshan of deities, the Madras High Court (Madurai Bench) has asked the Additional Advocate General (AAG) to submit a list of temples administered by the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) Department where paid darshan is allowed.
A bench comprising justices N Paul Vasantha Kumar and P Devadass also directed the petitioner C Arul alias Arunachalam to implead the 199 temples, which allowed paid darshans, as respondents in the case.
During the hearing of the case, the AAG Chellapandian submitted of the 36,546 temples in the State only 235 temples were financially affluent. Only 199 temples were allowing special darshans for devotees for a fee. The judges wanted to know why these temples were collecting a fee and providing special darshan. To this the AAG replied that the special darshan counters reduced the waiting time for devotees but this did not in any manner take away the rights of free darshan to devotees or enter the sanctum sanctorum.
Posting the case to August 13, the judges asked the AAG to submit the list of 199 temples.
A Government Order (GO) issued to recover incentive increment paid to BT Assistants who possess additional qualifications, has been stayed by the Madras High Court (Madurai Bench). The interim stay was granted while hearing a petition filed by P Prakasam, a BT Assistant from Sankarapuram Government High School in Theni district.
The petitioner submitted that the School Education Department had issued an order on January 18, 2013 GO (1D) No 18 stating that BT Assistants who possesses additional qualification, than the prescribed one, prior to joining service are entitled for one incentive increment at the time of joining.
However, on July 17 the department issued a clarification stating that the incentive increment will be granted only from the date the GO (1D) No 18 was issued, i.e. January 18. Incentives granted prior to this date would be recovered. Aggrieved, the petitioner moved court.