The Madras High Court has directed the Commissioner, Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR & CE) Department to initiate immediate action for eviction of all illegal occupants, encroachers and the land grabbers in the properties belonging to religious institutions across Tamil Nadu.
The Commissioner is bound to initiate appropriate prosecutions under the Criminal law and disciplinary proceedings under the Tamil Nadu Civil Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, he added.
Another direction sought the HR &CE Commissioner to upload and publish the details of the lessees and the rent fixed of all the movable and immovable properties belonging to all the religious institutions across Tamil Nadu in the official website of the HR &CE within three months. Along with this, the judge also directed the commissioner to upload the list of defaulters of payment of rent and those in unlawful occupation of Temple lands without any valid lease or permission.
Also, observing that despite a bar on civil courts entertaining land disputes pertaining to HR&CE large number of such civil suits are pending in such courts paving way for land grabbers, land mafias and illegal persons being in possession of properties belonging to religious institutions, Justice Subramanaiam directed all the Civil Courts across the State of Tamil Nadu to verify the Civil Suits instituted against the orders passed under Section 34-A or 34-B or 34-C of the HR &CE Act and dispose the same without any lapse of time. The judge also directed the Registrar General, MHC, to communicate the copy of this order to all the Civil Courts, enabling them to consider the express bar of jurisdiction of Civil Courts as contemplated under the HR&CE Act.