Madras HC tells TN to appoint archakas as per Agama practice

The Madras High Court on Monday directed the TN government to follow the Supreme Court’s orders and appoint archakas as per the Agama practice.

Published: 28th June 2022 05:26 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th June 2022 05:26 AM   |  A+A-


Archaka trainees at Sri Parthasarathy Temple Triplecane, Chennai in 2007. (EPS | P Jawahar )

Express News Service

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Monday directed the TN government to follow the Supreme Court’s orders and appoint archakas as per the Agama practice. The DMK government, since returning to power last year, has been appointing archakas of all castes to temples maintained by the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) department.

Advocate General (AG) R Shunmugasundaram submitted that the Supreme Court had upheld appointment of non-hereditary archakas without looking into caste or creed, in the 1972 case of Seshammal and others Vs TN government, which challenged an amendment introduced to the Religious Institutions Act.

In 2015 too, the apex court upheld the appointment of non-hereditary archakas complying with the Agama practice of temples, he said, adding that appointments are made by competent authorities — trustees or ‘fit persons’.

‘Find temple’s Agama before appointing’

Following these submissions the first bench of Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice N Mala disposed of a batch of petitions challenging advertisements issued in July to appoint archakas to HR &CE temples and ordered that the apex court’s orders be strictly adhered to while making the appointments.

The HC directed the HRHR&CE department to find out which agama is practised in a particular temple, and appoint archakas accordingly. The judges also told the petitioners to approach the court with individual petitions if they felt aggrieved over any particular appointment. The petitioners included the All India Adi Saiva Sivacharyargal Seva Sangam. Meanwhile, the judges adjourned another batch of petitions challenging the Act relating to appointment of archakas.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp