HR&CE department has no plan to take over Chidambaram's Nataraja temple: Tamil Nadu minister

The records are being scrutinised following complaints from devotees, the minister said during his visit to the Shri Abhirami Amirthakadeswarar Temple at Tirukadaiyur in Mayiladuthurai district.
Tamil Nadu Minister PK Sekar Babu (File photo| Ashwin Prasath, EPS)
Tamil Nadu Minister PK Sekar Babu (File photo| Ashwin Prasath, EPS)

CUDDALORE: Facing a probe by the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment (HR&CE) department, Dikshithars of the Chidambaram Nataraja Temple have shot off a letter to the enquiry committee coordinator and deputy commissioner, C Jothi, questioning the panel's jurisdiction to call for complete records and accounts of the temple.

Meanwhile, HR&CE Minister PK Sekar Babu told reporters in Mayiladuthurai on Saturday that the department has no intention of taking over the administration of the Chidambaram Thillai Nataraj Temple. The records are being scrutinised following complaints from devotees, the minister said during his visit to the Shri Abhirami Amirthakadeswarar Temple at Tirukadaiyur in Mayiladuthurai district.

In his letter sent to the HR&CE department on Friday, Chidambaram Nataraja Temple (Sri Sabhanayagar Temple) Podhu (General) Dikshithars secretary CSS Hemasabesa Dikshithar said that as per a 2011 Madras HC ruling, deputy commissioner or any other authority of the HR&CE department cannot call for complete records or accounts of the temple.

As per the court order, the endowment department can only seek details of specific accounts or transactions if it is required under a specific allegation or complaint.

The letter also referred to a G.O. issued on April 19, 2014, and said, "The order recorded the observations of the Supreme Court that the issue whether Podhu Dikshithars constitute a Religious Denomination has attained finality and would operate as Res Judicata in all future cases."

It is, therefore, clear that the HR&CE department has no jurisdiction in Nataraja temple and this is fortified by section 107 of the Tamil Nadu HR&CE Act, 1959. "This is further reaffirmed and upheld by the SC judgement in 2014," the letter said.

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