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Madras HC questions TN govt's logic in transfer of rich temples' surplus funds to village shrines

"Some of the temples will be requiring Rs 4 lakh for renovation and some might need Rs 50,000. What purpose would be fulfilled by allotting a fixed amount to such temples,” the bench queried.

Published: 30th September 2020 08:16 PM  |   Last Updated: 30th September 2020 08:16 PM   |  A+A-

Madras High Court

Madras High Court (File photo | EPS)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Tuesday asked the Tamil Nadu government to revisit its plan to utilize surplus funds of financially-sound temples to renovate village shrines. The court orally observed that such schemes cannot be implemented as government freebies.

A two-member bench of justices MM Sundresh and R Hemalatha queried the Hindu religious and charitable endowments department on the allocation of Rs 488 crore for such funds as Rs 1 lakh was sanctioned for each temple without looking at the needs of the shrines.

"Some of the temples will be requiring Rs 4 lakh for renovation and some might need Rs 50,000. What purpose would be fulfilled by allotting a fixed amount to such temples,” the bench queried.

The court was making the observations on the plea moved by Rangarajan Narasimhan of Srirangam challenging the May 15 government order sanctioning such utilization of surplus funds of large temples.

The petitioner also contended that the department has Rs 488 crore in common good funds there is no necessity for passing such order by the commissioner of the department directing the transfer of funds of big temples.

He also added that the commissioner has no such power and it is only the trustees who have to approve such decisions.

Noting that allotting Rs 1 lakh each to all small temples would not serve the purpose as such inadequate funds will only go to drains, High Court suggested the government to first identify the temple that requires urgent renovation and disburse funds accordingly.

The court recording the submissions made by both the parties directed the HR and CE counsel Karthikeyan to get instructions by Thursday as to whether the department is willing to consider the suggestions made by the court.



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