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Madras HC directs HR & CE dept to conduct survey of properties around Tiruchender temple

ANI | Updated: Dec 08, 2022 12:55 IST

Madurai (Tamil Nadu) [India], December 8 (ANI): The Madras High Court's Madurai Bench on Wednesday directed the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR and CE) department to conduct a thorough survey or inspect the temple properties around Tiruchendur Subramaniya Swamy temple to ascertain if there were any encroachments.
The order was passed by a Bench comprising of Justices R Mahadevan and J Sathya Narayana Prasad. The bench said that in case of encroachments, the properties have to be retrieved, irrespective of whether any civil suit is pending in connection with them.
Earlier in 2015, a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed by T Velmurugan to protect and maintain the properties belonging to the temple mentioned above. Though the petitioner died during the pendency of the petition, the court, in view of the larger public interest, continued to consider the petition.

The judges said, "Temples in Tamil Nadu are not only a source of identification of the ancient culture but also a testimony of knowledge and talent in the field of arts, science and sculpture and a conduit for spiritual activities as well. The properties of the religious institutions, more particularly, that of the temples, must be maintained properly to derive more income from spending for their betterment."
The court issued directions to the HR and CE stating that they are duty-bound to ensure that the temples and their properties are properly administered and their income is utilised in the right manner.
Passing orders on another PIL filed by P Markandan seeking direction to restore the properties of Dharmapuram Adheenam, the judges directed the joint commissioner concerned to take immediate action under Section 78 of HR and CE Act to remove the encroachments in the properties and hand them over to the Adheenam within three months. The properties, measuring around 3.53 acre, are situated in Tiruchendur. As per an inspection conducted by HR and CE officials, 12 lodges, 58 houses and 14 shops are situated encroaching on the properties. (ANI)