CHENNAI: The Madras High Court held that the court cannot allow someone to construct a temple and encroach on the government's land under the name of religion.
The first bench of Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice D Bharatha Chakravarthi made this observation on disposing of petitions filed by Settu aka Angamuthu and N Kanikanna of Villupuram district.
The petitioner sought a direction to remove encroachment made on lands that are classified as Kulam (pond) poramboke and Mandhai poramboke in Chennankulam Village, Kandachipuram Taluk, Villupuram district.
" The prayer of the fourth respondent / Kaliyamoorthy to save it or to direct the Tahsildar to open the deity for offering prayers cannot be accepted because the effort is nothing but to somehow encroach the land of the waterbody in the name of religion, despite the judgment of the Apex Court not endorsing the construction of a temple or installation of a deity on the government land and in the instant case, there is nothing on record to show permission to install a deity or construct a temple, " the CJ held.
The judges made this observation after hearing the submissions of one Kaliyamoorthy, who erected a temple on Mandhai Poramboke claiming that the Tahsildar had sealed his temple. He wanted to de-seal the temple as devotees wanted to offer prayers to the deity.
Recording the submissions, the CJ MN Bhandari acknowledged that the action to remove encroachments was already taken by the authorities. He further directed the respondents to remove the encroachments from both the survey numbers within two weeks.