Friday, January 27, 2023

Kerala HC To Hear Petition On Temple “Donating” Money To CM’s Relief Fund

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The Kerala High Court on Friday admitted a public interest litigation (PIL) challenging the Guruvayoor Devaswom Board which manages the famous Sri Krishna Temple in Guruvayoor and its Chairman TB Mohandas of giving away Rs 5 crore to Chief Minister’s Relief Fund. The arbitrary move had triggered widespread outrage among Hindu organisations and temple devotees.

The court has clubbed the PIL with similar petitions and   the board has promised that it won’t make any further donations. However, the court said it will look into previous judgements to see whether the donation was in order. If found otherwise, the donation should be returned to the temple, the court said. “The court said it is a very serious issue,” said petitioner KSR Menon.

The petition was filed  claiming that the donation was made in violation of the provisions contained in the Guruvayur Devaswom Board Act -1978 and hence illegal.

The petition said the act of Mohandas constituted a breach of his fiduciary duty towards the devotees of the temple and the Managing Committee was not authorized to spend money in contravention of the budgetary allocation. Therefore, the same act is liable to be struck down on account of being arbitrary and without any authority, the petition added.

The Pinarayi Vijayan-led Left Front government in Kerala  reportedly got the Guruvayur Devaswom Board to transfer Rs Five crore from its fixed deposit to Chief Minister’s relief fund and Hindu organisations have attacked the government. This money should have been  spent on temples that have been struggling to light the lamps. Questions have also been asked why the Kerala government  and the chief minister’s fund was not accepting money from other religious institutions.

-India Legal Bureau

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