Cannot allow temple land to be used as burial ground: Madras HC

They directed the authorities to consider the litigant's request within three months.

Published: 27th November 2022 04:25 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th November 2022 04:25 AM   |  A+A-

Madurai Bench of Madras High Court

Madurai Bench of Madras High Court

By Express News Service

MADURAI: The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court on Friday said while it recognises that dead people are also entitled to the right to dignity and decent burial or cremation, burying dead bodies in a temple land cannot be allowed.

Passing orders on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by SP Narayanan in 2018, a Bench of justices R Mahadevan and J Sathya Narayana Prasad directed the Thoothukudi collector and other officials to consider Narayanan's request to retrieve the land belonging to Tiruchendur Subramaniya Swamy temple, as the land is being used as a burial ground by the people of Subramaniyapuram.

"This court has time and again reiterated that the lands belonging to temples are used only for religious purposes and the activities connected therein; and that the HR&CE department is the custodian of the temples and its properties, and the authorities should take all effective measures to safeguard the same from encroachment or unauthorised occupation," the judges observed.

Though the Joint Commissioner of the temple had recommended the revenue officials retrieve the land from the villagers and allocate an alternate place for them so that the devotees visiting the temple could use the land for parking and other purposes, no steps have been taken by the revenue officials till date, they noted and criticised the authorities for the 'callous attitude'.

They directed the authorities to consider the litigant's request within three months. While doing so, the authorities should also consider allotting an alternative site for the villagers, they added


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