Wednesday, March 3, 2021
Home Law HRCE Dept uses the 'we are doing what Kings did' argument, claims 'secular' state...

HRCE Dept uses the ‘we are doing what Kings did’ argument, claims ‘secular’ state of Tamil Nadu entitled to control temples

In the counter-affidavit, HR&CE Department said that majority of the famous temples in the state were constructed by kings. They also gave acres of land and other properties to those temples. The kings used to appoint officials to manage the temples. The government is doing the same via the HR&CE Department.

The Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) Department has filed an affidavit at the Madras High Court saying that though the state of Tamil Nadu is secular, it is entitled to control temples. The departments said that under Article 25(2) of the Constitution, the state could regulate or restrict any economic, financial, political, or other secular activity linked to religious practice.

Affidavit in reply to the petition by Indic Collective Trust

In the first week of August 2020, Indic Collective Trust and its president T.R. Ramesh filed a petition in the Madras High Court against the HR&CE Minister and Commissioner stating misuse of temple vehicles and funds. The petition was attached to another case filed by Rangarajan Narasimhan, who has accused the state government of ordering 20 rich temples of the state to pay Rs.10 crore surplus funds. The Tamil Nadu government said that the funds were to be used for renovating 10,000 village temples. The court had put a stay on order.

Tamil Nadu govt and Temples: The state is doing what kings did

In the counter-affidavit filed in front of a Division Bench of Justice M.M. Sundresh and Justice R. Hemalatha, the HR&CE Department said that majority of the famous temples in the state were constructed by kings. They also gave acres of land and other properties to those temples. The kings used to appoint officials to manage the temples. The government is doing the same via the HR&CE Department.

The department in its affidavit said that the HR&CE Act of 1959 was approved by the then-President on 19th November 1959, and it was preceded by a 1951 Act that was upheld by the Supreme Court of India in 1954. The petitioners are attempting to tarnish the image of the department to relive temples from the government’s control.

Government vehicles not fit for the road

Answering the charges of using temple vehicles for the department’s use, the affidavit said that the state government allotted vehicles long back to the department no longer fit for the road. The department uses the temple vehicles until the state government alot money to buy new vehicles. It emphasized that the vehicles and the drivers were only being used for official purposes. The petitioner had alleged in the petition that the vehicles were being used for personal use.

Alleged exaggeration of misuse of temple funds

The department said that temple funds that were collected under the pretext of darshan, Abhishegam, Archanai, Urchavam, etc. stay with the temple and not controlled by the department or the state government. It added that the department controls 38,449 religious institutes, including 57 mutts, 57 temples attached to mutts, 1,721 specific endowments, 3,479 temples with hereditary trustees, and 16,783 temples with temporary appointees.

The temples under the administration of temporary appointees are till the time trustees are appointed as per the regulations. The petition stated that there are 19,000 temples under the administration of the government-appointed ‘fit person’ since 2011. In the counter-affidavit, the department said that the petitioners had exaggerated the amount used for refreshments during review meetings chaired by the HR&CE Minister, Secretary, and Commissioner.

Television channel ‘Tirukovil’

In June 2020, the state government announced that it would launch a television channel to broadcast special festivals and pujas at famous temples of Tamil Nadu. In the petition, it was alleged that the temple funds are being used to start the channel. The department, in its reply, said that the channel is still in the proposal stage. The state government has not taken any final decision. It said that the proposed channel is only to propagate the Hindu religion.

The court has set 25th September for the next hearing in the case.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

Related Articles

Trending now

Ahmedabad netizens trend #WeWantKarnavati to get city name changed, this is why

Ahmedabad residents said that the city was not 'established' by Mughal emperor Ahmed Shah but it was developed by King Karna Dev and hence it should be named after him.

Hours before the model code of conduct set in, Mamata Banerjee grants Rs 2.60 crore for Furfura Sharif shrine

Furfura Sharif's cleric Abbas Siddiqui has forged an alliance with the Congress and the Left after floating his own political party named Indian Secular Front.

Ex Maha CM and Congress leader spreads misinformation about COVID vaccination. Here are the facts about pricing

Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan spreads misinformation about Covid-19 vaccine pricing and allocation.

Take a shot every time Rahul Gandhi says ‘strategy’ and get drunk before noon: Rahul Gandhi’s bizarre monologue goes viral

Rahul Gandhi thinks China has a 'vision' of 'modern Silk Road' with a 'nervous system' - we have no idea what he means by that.

West Bengal: Minor girl missing for 22 days, family accuses TMC leader and 5 others of abduction

Faced with police inaction in recovering the victim and the barrage of incoming threats, the family members sat on a hunger strike on Monday night in the Fuara More area of Malda.

‘Standing up for the national anthem is enforced nationalism’: Here’s how The Wire is fanning separatism in J and K

In essence, The Wire, in its article, has toed the separatists and terrorists' line in blaming the university for "enforcing" nationalism on students by simply asking them to comply with the university protocols, which include standing up for the national anthem, among other activities.

Recently Popular

‘Inserted her hand claiming she was planting a tree’: LGBT activist Divya Dureja accused of sexual assault under pretext of shamanic ritual

A popular LGBT activist Divya Dureja has been accused of sexual assault by Elodie Gendron under pretext of a Shamanic ritual.

Sourav Ganguly may attend PM Modi’s Brigade Ground rally in Kolkata on 7th March: Local media

Sourav Ganguly may attend PM Modi's rally at Brigade Ground in Kolkata on March 7, according to reports in local media.

Aamir Khan shelves Mahabharat amidst controversies because ‘now is not the right time’: Reports

Aamir Khan has shelved his 'Mahabharat' project amidst controversies because the 'timing' is not right, reports say.

A woman molested, a father murdered, a Samajwadi Party leader accused: Here is all you need to know about the Hathras case

"Aatankwadi hain woh", Hathras victim Pooja exclaimed, expressing her angst against the SP leader for killing her father

The Hindu ‘journalist’ Suhasini Haidar puts out misinformation about ISRO satellite launch: Read details

Suhasini Haidar, National Editor of 'The Hindu', put out false information on social media in attempt to mislead the public.

Gujarat: Ahmedabad woman Ayesha commits suicide by jumping into Sabarmati River, last video message goes viral

A video has gone viral on social media where Ayesha, a young woman, can be heard announcing her decision to commit suicide.
- Advertisement -


Connect with us