Madras HC seeks HRCE reply on use of temple fund for cultural centre

“Now the construction of a cultural centre will take away around Rs 30 crore of the temple funds, which were gradually accumulated over 20 years,” he stated.
Kapaleeswarar temple in Mylapore
Kapaleeswarar temple in Mylapore

CHENNAI: The Madras HC directed the state Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments department to file an explanation on whether a public announcement was made about the proposed cultural centre, which will be built using the land and funds of Kapaleeswarar temple in Mylapore.

A division bench of Justices GR Swaminathan and PB Balaji directed the department to file the reply on Thursday and adjourned the hearing of a petition filed in this regard by activist TR Ramesh.

The petitioner had flagged violations of the provisions of the HR&CE Act and Rules in setting up the proposed cultural centre at a sprawling 22.80 grounds (1.25 acre) of land located on the posh Greenways Road, which belongs to the Kapaleeswarar temple.

He said the total funds available with the temple stood at around Rs 70 crore, of which, more than Rs 10 crore has allegedly been spent for unauthorised purposes in the last two years. “Now the construction of a cultural centre will take away around Rs 30 crore of the temple funds, which were gradually accumulated over 20 years,” he stated.

Advocate Niranjan Rajagopalan, appearing for the petitioner, submitted that the department had not made a public announcement to elicit the views of the public before preparing the project.

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