Fisheries Department grabbed the land of Temple and run profit-making business. Temple Management committee fought back and won their lands back. At the end, Madras High Court passed these directions, to be complied within 6 months.
S.Sridhar Vs State of Tamil Nadu on 04 Nov 2020
Therefore, this Court, in the interests of the subject temples, deems it fit and appropriate to issue the following directions:
(i)The Commissioner, HR&CE Dept., Chennai, shall initiate appropriate action to retrieve the subject lands, remove all the encroachments, if any, and maintain the same with utmost care and for beneficial interests of the subject temples.
(ii)It is made clear that the lands belonging to the subject temples shall not be alienated or leased or encumbered illegally and against the interests of such temples.
(iii)The HR&CE Dept. shall have the administration and entire control over the subject lands and shall deal with the same in accordance with law.
(iv)The HR&CE Dept. shall take steps to start construction by putting compound wall to secure and safety of the subject lands. Except temple related purposes, the lands shall not be used for any other purposes.
(v)Except the HR&CE Dept., no other private individuals / trustees shall claim any right over the lands possessed and enjoyed by the subject temples.
(vi)The Officer in-charge shall not permit any unauthorised shop / construction inside the temples’ premises.
(vii)The Officer in-charge shall ensure the unrestricted freedom of worship by the devotees to the subject temples.
(viii)The Officer authorised by the Commissioner, HR&CE Dept., shall maintain proper register with respect to the financial aspects of the subject temples and its properties and file the same before the authority concerned in regular intervals. If he/she fails to discharge his/her duties assigned, he/she is personally liable for such lapses and appropriate departmental action be taken against him/her.
(ix)The Commissioner, HR&CE Dept., shall order appropriate enquiry forthwith related to the missing documents and files connected to the respective temples and its properties and initiate action against erring officials responsible for the same.
(x)The Government shall provide necessary assistance to the HR&CE Dept., for proper maintenance and protection of the subject temples and its properties.