Temple Lands Shall Not Be Alienated Or Used Against Interests Of Temple: Madras High Court Directs To Retrieve Encroached Temple Properties
The Madras High Court has directed the HR & CE Department to initiate appropriate action to retrieve land belonging to temples by removing all encroachments. Justice R. Mahadevan also directed that the the lands belonging to the subject temples shall not be alienated or leased or encumbered illegally and against the interests of such temples and shall only be used for temple related purposes. The court also criticised the HR&CE Dept., which is the custodians of the temple properties, for having not taken any steps to protect the interest of the temples. “Such callous attitude on their part cannot be countenanced. This Court, time and again observed that Temples in Tamil Nadu are not only a source of identification of the ancient culture, but also a testimony of pride and knowledge of the talent in the field of arts, science and sculpture and a conduit for spiritual activities as well; and that, the properties of the religious institutions, more particularly, the temples have to be maintained properly in order to derive more income to spend for its betterment.”, Justice Mahadevan observed.