Justice S M Subramaniam gave the direction while disposing of a writ petition from K Senthilkumar last week. The petitioner submitted that land measuring 3,227 square feet on MTH Road, belonging to Sri Agatheeswarar Swamy

Home / India News / Madras high court orders eviction of illegal occupants of TN’s temples

Madras high court’s direction to the Tamil Nadu government came after petition on to Sri Agatheeswarar Swamy temple in Villivakkam contention.
Madras high court’s direction to the Tamil Nadu government came after petition on to Sri Agatheeswarar Swamy temple in Villivakkam contention.
INDIA NEWS
Madras high court orders eviction of illegal occupants of TN’s temples

The petitioner submitted that land measuring 3,227 square feet on MTH Road, belonging to Sri Agatheeswarar Swamy temple in Villivakkam was assigned to his ancestor, who had put up a superstructure some 30 years ago. In 2011, the petitioner acquired the property registered in his name by the Sub-Registrar. As the temple initiated eviction proceedings, he moved the high court with the present petition.
By Press Trust of India, Chennai
UPDATED ON SEP 21, 2021 12:39 AM IST
The Madras high court has directed the Tamil Nadu government to immediately evict all those who are occupying the properties of a temple in the city as tenants/lease holders illegally and recover the revenue loss from officials of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) department and the temple, who had colluded with the tenants/lease holders.
Justice S M Subramaniam gave the direction while disposing of a writ petition from K Senthilkumar last week.
The petitioner submitted that land measuring 3,227 square feet on MTH Road, belonging to Sri Agatheeswarar Swamy temple in Villivakkam was assigned to his ancestor, who had put up a superstructure some 30 years ago. In 2011, the petitioner acquired the property registered in his name by the Sub-Registrar. As the temple initiated eviction proceedings, he moved the high court with the present petition.
Disposing of the same, the judge directed the Tourism, Culture and Endowment department and the HR&CE to complete the eviction proceedings in all aspects and take over possession of the properties and deal with the same in accordance with the provisions of the HR&CE Act and more specifically, for the benefit of the temple administration, immediately.They shall conduct an enquiry to assess the financial loss occurred to the temple and initiate all appropriate actions against the persons concerned for the recovery of the financial loss caused to the temple.
They shall also look into the active or passive collusion on the part of the authorities in dealing with the temple properties in such a manner and initiate appropriate action against those who had contributed for the maladministration of the temple properties, the judge said.
The judge observed that fraudulent and illegal encroachments of temple properties is a crime against society at large. Misappropriation of the funds of the temple is undoubtedly an offence and all such offences are to be registered and the offenders are liable to be prosecuted by the State as it is the controller of these shrines and the offences are also committed against the government, he said.
Temple properties are allowed to be looted by few greedy men and by few professional criminals and land grabbers. Active or passive contribution and collusion by the officials of the HR&CE department cannot be overruled. These lapses, negligence, dereliction of duty on the part of such public officials are also to be viewed seriously and all appropriate actions in this regard are highly warranted, the judge added.

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