Mutt succession row: Madras HC rejects Nithyananda plea

HC says substitution of Harihara in place of Arunagirinatha only for prosecuting suit
The court opined that the application for amendment filed by Harihara Swamigal for substituting himself in the place of the 292nd pontiff in the suit, did not call for any interference.
The court opined that the application for amendment filed by Harihara Swamigal for substituting himself in the place of the 292nd pontiff in the suit, did not call for any interference.(Representative image)

MADURAI: The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court, while dismissing a petition by Nithyananda Swami, said the substitution of Sri La Sri Harihara Sri Gnanasambanda Desiga Paramachariya Swamigal in the place of Arunagirinatha Swamigal of Madurai Aadheenam was only for the limited purpose of prosecuting the suit.

Hearing a petition filed by AC Narendran alias Sri Nithyamoksha Priyananda, who is the power agent of Sri Nithyananda Swami, Justice R Vijayakumar said the 292nd pontiff of Madurai Aadheenam — Sri La Sri Arunagirinatha Swamigal — had originally appointed Nithyananda as his successor.

However, as several objections were raised against the anointment, with many filing writ petitions and civil suits, the 292nd pontiff decided to remove Nithyananda from the post. Subsequently, Nithyananda filed a suit in district court seeking cancellation.

In the meantime, 292nd pontiff Arunagirinatha Swamigal attained ‘mukthi’ on August 13, 2021. Following this, Harihara Swamigal was appointed as the 293rd pontiff of Madurai Aadheenam, and the appointment was recorded by the HR&CE department.

The court opined that the application for amendment filed by Harihara Swamigal for substituting himself in the place of the 292nd pontiff in the suit, did not call for any interference. It has been made clear that the substitution of Harihara Swamigal in the place of Arunagirinatha Swamigal was only for the limited purpose of prosecuting the suit, and it will not confer any additional advantage to the former in the suit proceedings, it said.

“Whether the documents executed by 292nd pontiff are liable to be declared as null and void, or whether the appointment of Sri La Sri Harihara Sri Gnanasambanda Desiga Paramachariya Swamigal as the 293rd pontiff is valid or not are to be decided by the trial court on merits and in accordance with law,” the court added.

The petitioner had earlier submitted that Nithyananda was declared as the successor while the 292nd pontiff was alive, and hence Harihara Swamigal could not be nominated as the 293rd successor. He had further contended that once the 292nd pontiff attained ‘mukthi’, the position of Aadhinakarthar automatically came in favour of the revision petitioner, and no other person could make a claim to the said position.

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