Telangana HC orders state govt not to take hasty action over alleged encroachment of temple lands
The court expressed surprise over the haste with which the government constituted a committee with four IAS officers to inquire into the allegations when people were dying due to the COVID second wave
HYDERABAD: The Telangana High Court on Saturday ordered the state government not to take any action against petitioners S Satyanarayana Reddy and four others who prayed for a direction for a halt to the inquiry into how they came in possession of lands which belonged to Sitaramaswami Temple at Devarayanajal village in Shamirpet Mandal in Medchal-Malkajgiri district.
The court, taking up the petition, expressed surprise over the haste with which the government had constituted a committee with four IAS officers to inquire into the allegations of encroachment of temple lands at a time when people were dying due to the COVID-19 second wave in the state.
The Advocate General brought to the notice of the court that it was only a preliminary inquiry and that action would be taken only after a detailed inquiry. As of now, the government had no intention of razing any structures that have come up on the lands, he said.
The court, however, asked the government to issue notices even for preliminary inquiry and, addressing those facing the allegations, asked them to cooperate with the government as it conducts the probe. The court directed the government and the Endowments department to file a detailed counter on the issue.
The state government, while ordering inquiry (GO No:1014) recently, had said that the Endowment department was claiming that 1,521 acres of land which belonged to Sitaramsway temple in Deverayanjal had been encroached upon. The government also quoted newspaper reports as stating that a large portion of land worth about Rs 1,000 crore had been occupied illegally by former minister Eatala Rajender and a few others. The IAS officers' committee is headed by Panchayat Raj Commissioner M Raghunandan Rao.