SC asks TN Govt to bring on record info related to appointment of trustees in temples
The apex court’s order came in a plea preferred by Hindu Dharma Parishad seeking the appointment of 'Arangavalar Committee' headed by a Retired Judge in all Hindu Temples.
Published: 30th January 2023 07:42 PM | Last Updated: 30th January 2023 07:42 PM | A+A A-
NEW DELHI: India's top court on Monday directed the Tamil Nadu government to bring on record information related to the process of appointment of trustees in temples.
A bench of Justices AS Bopanna and Hima Kohli in their order said, "List after four weeks to enable the respondents to bring on record information related to temples where the process of appointment has been complete, where the process is underway & in which some extra time will be taken to complete the process."
The apex court’s order came in a plea preferred by Hindu Dharma Parishad seeking the appointment of 'Arangavalar Committee' (Trustee Committee) headed by a Retired Judge in all Hindu Temples with a social activist, a devotee, a Scheduled Caste person and a woman as its Members to manage the Temples.
The plea was preferred by the Parishad against Madras High Court’s order of dismissing the Parishad’s writ seeking similar relief. It was argued before the HC that several Hindu Temples in Tamil Nadu were not maintained well and they were destroyed.
Earlier, the state govt informed the apex court that the process of appointment of trustees in temples has commenced for 1045 temples in a phased manner all over State and the appointments will be completed in six months' time.
"Meanwhile, the Trust Board is formed, in order to run the day-to-day administration of the religious institutions and also to implement various welfare schemes, renovation works and development activities, benefitting devotees, fit persons appointed under the Act are functioning," the affidavit states.
Laying emphasis on the fact that over 38,000 temples in Tamil Nadu are administered by individual and separate Trust Boards, the state government has told the Supreme Court that it is practically impossible to appoint a Trust Board for each and every temple consisting of a retired judge.
"Ground raised that ruling political parties are being appointed as trustees are denied. The applications received for the appointment of Trustees are duly scrutinized and antecedents are verified through the Inspector. The persons who are suffering disqualification prescribed under Section 26 of the Act are not considered for appointment. Only qualified persons alone considered for appointment of trustees," the affidavit states.
While terming the grounds raised in the plea as “baseless” the state has also called as erroneous the conclusion that all temples have lakhs of acres of land, thousands of buildings and gold and diamond ornaments valued at crores of rupees.
"Only a very few hundred temples alone have hundreds of Acres of land and few hundred buildings. Only a very few temples are having much valued Gold ornaments," the affidavit states.
The affidavit also stated that even though the Trust Board is not yet formed, the work of renovation is conducted periodically and Kumbabishegam is also held in temples where ever necessary.