2,000 acres of temple land in Thiruporur: Madras HC gags registration
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2,000 acres of temple land in Thiruporur: Madras HC gags registration dept
Suresh Kumar | TNN | Updated: Sep 6, 2020, 05:42 IST
Madras high court
CHENNAI: Ring-fencing about 2,000 acres of temple land along the Old Mahabalipuram Road (OMR) and the East Coast Road (ECR) near the city, valued at about Rs 6,000 crore, against sale or lease by fraud, the Madras high court has restrained Thiruporur sub-registrar from creating any encumbrance on these properties.
The land parcels are mostly owned by Arulmigu Thiruporur Kandaswamy Temple and Arulmigu Thiru Alavandan Temple in Thiruporur.
Admitting a public interest writ petition filed on the basis of a news report published in TOI dated July 14 titled ‘Tiruporur firing brings focus on shady land deals’ a division bench of Justice M M Sundresh and Justice R Hemalatha tagged the PIL with pending similar matters and adjourned the case for further hearing on September 10.
The report brought to light how 2,000 acres of ₹6,000-crore worth land belonging to the two temples were being eyed by land sharks.
Plea wants entire land surveyed for encroachments
Pointing out that the lands administered by the Hindu religious and charitable endowment (HR&CE)department fall under the jurisdiction of Tiruporur sub registrar office, the report quoted officials as saying about 20 gangs, including some with political backing, were eyeing these land parcels.
Relying on the report, B Jagannath, an advocate, filed the petition saying there were multiple attempts to transfer the properties illegally with some staking claim from different parts of the state using forged documents.
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GO TO BRIEFS
He wanted the court to pass an interim order directing the authorities to survey the entire land and file a status report with details of encroachments if any within a reasonable time. He also wanted the court to restrain the Tiruporur sub-registrar or the inspector-general of registration from alienating or creating any encumbrance on these land titles.
Noting that those refusing to fall in line to clandestine offers are often threatened by local politicians, the petitioner said: “The revenue, registration and HR&CE departments have significant collective responsibility to act as a custodian and guardian of the temple lands and the manner in which the lands are being encroached and misappropriated is disgusting to say the least.”
Citing various judgments of the Supreme Court, the petitioner said authorities had to work together to safeguard valuable temple assets, especially immovable properties, as they are a prime source of income for the temples.
“It is the duty of the authorities, especially state revenue department, to protect these temple lands by ensuring that encumbrance of temple properties does not take place without following the due process of law,” the advocate added.
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