The first bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy made the observation while hearing a public interest litigation challenging the order passed by Tourism, Culture and Religious Institutions Department alienating 35 acres of drylands belonging to Sri Ardhanareeswarar Temple at Veercholapuram in Karaikkudi to the Tamil Nadu Government, against the prevailing HR&CE rules.
The Chief Justice on pointing out that public interest should prevail over public good, pointed out that since the place is going to serve as a complex for government offices there remains no malafide in the government move to acquire the dry lands which all along remained so without generating any revenue for the temple.
While the petitioner Rangarajan Narasimhan appearing in party person argued that HR&CE had deliberately kept the property so and since its meant for the temple it cannot be allowed to be converted into a concrete jungle, the Chief Justice on citing the proliferation of the population remarked that concrete jungles have become a necessity to maintain social order.
Rangarajan also contended that when there were other government lands available for this purpose, it was highly unnecessary for the government to lose an open land that is on the banks of a water body and create another concrete jungle.
Advocate General Vijay Narayan submitted that the government endeavour was to acquire the lands and ensure that a steady revenue accrues to the temple. He also pointed out that besides allocation of a portion of the land acquired for the Collectorate, steps have also been taken to renovate the temple at a cost of over Rs 2 crore.