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HR and CE officials told to take oath professing Hinduism
The Madras High Court has directed the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment (HR&CE) commissioner and other authorities from their offices to take a pledge that they are Hindus by birth and are professing Hinduism as mandated by law within eight weeks.
A division bench comprising Justice MM Sundresh and Justice Sanjay Ramaswamy passed the direction on Tuesday after the counsel appearing for the HR&CE conceded that since the commissioner and other officers appointed were government servants, they were yet to take the statutory pledge.
The bench also held that officials to be appointed hereafter also should follow the rules and take the pledge as required.
S Sridharan, an advocate based in Chennai had sought for the removal of the HR&CE commissioner and other authorities from their offices for not taking a pledge that they are Hindus by birth and are professing Hinduism as mandated by law.
He had submitted as per section 10 of HR&CE Act, professing Hindu religion is a qualification and those wanting to serve the Hindu Temples under the said Act at all levels will be allowed to render their service only as long as they continue their faith in Hindu Religion.
He also submitted that the purpose of the condition is to restrain the authority appointed under the Act from applying the temple properties and funds in connection with activities which are against Hindu faith. He had also noted that an RTI reply in this regard clearly revealed that the commissioner as well as the other authorities had failed to take the oath.