The Madras High Court recently disposed of a PIL seeking direction to the respondents to re-fix and enhance the lease amount for the land belonging to Vethapureeswarar Temple, Vetharanyam, Nagapattinam District, to an extent of 2426 acres of land, and to recover the said land in the manner known in the law.
The PIL has been filed by one A.M. Sundaravel.
While considering the PIL, the Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and P.D. Audikesavalu noted that the land in question was leased out by the temple in favour of the Salt Commissioner, Jaipur in 1961. Pursuant to the lease document, the Salt Commissioner is occupying the land.
“A direction of the nature sought cannot be given in a public interest litigation because rights of the parties are governed by the lease documents and as per the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment Act, 1959,”
-the High Court observed.
The counsel appearing for respondents has placed on record documents to show the action taken by the temple to seek eviction of the first respondent, by invoking Section 78 of the Act of 1959, from the land in question.
“In view of the above, since the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department has already initiated action to evict the first respondent, a direction of the nature sought by the writ petitioner cannot be given,” the order reads.