CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has passed an order to lock and seal the Uzhavar Santhai (farmers' market) in the Edappadi town of Salem district for not remitting the compensation to the tune of Rs 93 lakh to the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) department for acquiring the land of Arulmigu Prasanna Nanjundeswarar Temple in Edappadi.
Justice R Subramanian passed the direction on allowing a petition filed by A Radhakrishnan, a resident of Salem. The petitioner sought a direction to the State to surrender the land which was taken for establishing the Uzhavar Santhai to the HR&CE department.
According to the petitioner, the temple located in the former CM’s constituency has several pieces of land in and around the Edappadi town and 18,904 square feet of the temple land was acquired by the government in 2010 to construct the Uzhavar Santhai.
"While it was said that about Rs 93.09 lakh will be paid as compensation for the temple land, the said amount has not been remitted by the government. Without paying the cost, authorities made constructions and opened the market in 2011," the petitioner added.
Recording the submissions, Justice Subramanian held that the establishment of Uzhavar Santhai is a laudable purpose, but at the same time in the name of establishment of Uzhavar Santhai, authorities cannot occupy the land belonging to the Temple without payment of compensation.
"There will be a direction to the Superintendent of Police, Salem to seal the Uzhavar Santhai and ensure that no business or any other activity takes place there, till such time the entire amount is paid," the judge held.
The matter has been adjourned to August 8 for reporting compliance.