Urbanization made people occupy temple properties without guilt: HC

The trial court ordered the appellants to quit and deliver vacant possession of the scheduled properties and for verifying the accounts and rents to the HR and CE
Madras High Court
Madras High Court

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court held that once people thought that offering lands and properties to temples was a spiritual act but the growing population and urbanization had made the public occupy the temple properties without any fear or guilt.

"Generally people had a sentiment/fear not to exploit the temple property. With the population growth and urbanization, this sentiment has vanished in thin air and the properties of the temple, be it residential plots or commercial buildings or agricultural lands are encroached upon without any guilt and the temple is divested of the income, " Justice Bharatha Chakravarthy wrote.

The judge made this observation while dismissing an appeal suit by Durgai Lakhsmi Kalyana Mandapam and K Jeevanandam.

The appellants sought direction to set aside the order of a civil court to in connection with the management of a marriage hall attached to HR and CE's Arulmigu Siddhi Ganesar Nataraja Perumal Durgaiamman group of temples in Old Washermenpet should be maintained by the HR and CE.

The trial court ordered the appellants to quit and deliver vacant possession of the scheduled properties and for verifying the accounts and rents to the HR and CE.

"The Court being the parens patriae in respect of the temple and its properties, the Executive officer only sets the law in motion by filing the suit. Therefore, for all the reasons stated above, the suit filed by the Executive Officer is maintainable, " the judge ordered.

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