Dismissing a public interest litigation (PIL) moved by Indic Collective Trust represented by its president TR Ramesh, a division bench comprising Justice R Mahadevan and Justice Anita Sumanth said television channels disseminating spiritual enquiry, timeless teachings of seers and the sthala purana of places of worship was not novel but something undertaken all over the world.
“The proposed television channel will, we fondly hope, effectively showcase the significant wealth of philosophy, spiritualism and culture of India,” the order penned by Justice Anita Sumanth said while pointing out that the observation on television had not impacted the order dismissing the writ petition.
The PIL had sought to quash the GO on launching the channel for dissemination of religious programmes on grounds of several factual and other inaccuracies. With an estimated capital of Rs 8.77 crore and interest from a Rs 20 crore deposit to meet recurring operation costs, the project does not adhere to the procedure set out in Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Common Good Fund (Fund) and the Rules framed, specifically Rules 3 to 6, the plea said.
However, the bench pointed out that the HR&CE department was overseeing more than 44,000 temples and there was bound to be some amount of competition for the funds. “The Act strives to maintain identity in the use of the funds by deploying funds appropriated from one type of religious institution to another of similar type, so far as it is possible.
“Thus, the rigour of the procedure in Rules 3 to 6 would apply only in cases of deployment of the fund for the renovation and preservation of needy temples and not any other purpose,” the bench added.