Madras high court Chennai: Declaring that the Arulmighu Mariamman Temple in Coimbatore district, alone is entitled for compensation at 100 percent including interest, solatium etc., the Madras high court has set aside an order of a lower court, apportioning the compensation amount awarded under the land acquisition proceedings in the ratio of 25 percent to the Temple and 75 percent to the Hereditary Poojaris. A division bench comprising Justices R.Subbiah and T.Krishnavalli made the declaration while allowing the first appeal filed by the Executive Officer, Arulmighu Mariamman Temple.




Sunday, Nov 10, 2019 | Last Update : 07:46 AM IST



  Nation  Current Affairs  10 Nov 2019 Kovai temple poojari …
NATIONCURRENT AFFAIRS
Kovai temple poojaris get court reprieve
DECCAN CHRONICLE. | J STALINPublishedNov 10, 2019, 2:27 am IST
UpdatedNov 10, 2019, 2:27 am IST

Further the names of the Hereditary Poojaris were subsequently deleted from the patta.

 Madras high court
Chennai: Declaring that the Arulmighu Mariamman Temple in Coimbatore district, alone is entitled for compensation at 100 percent including interest, solatium etc., the Madras high court has set aside an order of a lower court, apportioning the compensation amount awarded under the land acquisition proceedings in the ratio of 25 percent to the Temple and 75 percent to the Hereditary Poojaris.
A division bench comprising Justices R.Subbiah and T.Krishnavalli made the declaration while allowing the first appeal filed by the Executive Officer, Arulmighu Mariamman Temple.

 
According to petitioner, an extent of 22.21 acres of dry lands in Udumalpet village were granted to the Temple under the Tamil Nadu Minor Inams (Abolition and Conversion into Ryotwari) Act. The temple was in possession and enjoyment of the lands for several decades. Even the Inam Register Entry made in the year 1936 discloses that the lands belonged to the Temple. While so, notices were issued by the Special Tahsildar, Pollachi, in 1997 proposing to acquire the lands for the purpose of providing house-sites to the people belonging to Adi Dravidar Community. The land acquisition officer selected 12 acres and the district collector also sent the notice to the parties concerned. After completion of the acquisition proceedings, award was passed on March 6, 1998 granting compensation of `34.52 lakh including solatium. The Hereditary Poojaris of the Temple claimed that they were entitled for the compensation amount. Since there was dispute between the Temple and the Hereditary Poojaris, the land acquisition officer referred the matter to a civil court. On consideration of the oral and documentary evidences, the Subordinate Judge came to the conclusion that the Hereditary Poojaris were doing service to the Temple without getting any remuneration and they were in enjoyment of the lands in lieu of their service to the Temple and therefore, they were also entitled for compensation, apart from the Temple and apportioned the compensation. Aggrieved by the same, the Temple filed the present petition.
The bench said it was no doubt true that in the Settlement Tahsildar
proceedings, the names of HereditaryPoojaris have been included as “represented by poojaris for the time being”. But their names were entered temporarily to represent the Temple and individually their names were not included, more so, when the Ryotwari Patta was issued in favour of the Temple, which was evident from the Settlement Tahsildar proceedings, mentioning that the “Kudivaram rights” vest in the Temple. Further, in the year 1992, it appears that without the knowledge of the Temple authorities, the Hereditary Poojaris have included their names in the patta and have also made an attempt to alienate the lands. Moreover, in the suit filed by the Temple the Hereditary Poojaris remained ex-parte. Subsequently, the execution proceedings were initiated by the Temple and the possession was also taken from the Hereditary Poojaris.
Further the names of the Hereditary Poojaris were subsequently deleted from the patta. The Hereditary Poojaris have not produced any relevant documents before the court below to substantiate that they were the tenants under the Temple. But the court below came to the conclusion that the Hereditary Poojaris were tenants, and hence, they were also entitled for the compensation, which was contrary to the pleadings of the Hereditary Poojaris themselves, the bench added.
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