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‘Constitute boards of trustees in temples’

Blaming Fit Persons for the untoward incidents that have taken place in temples, a public interest litigation petition filed before the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Thursday sought a direction for the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments department to constitute boards of trustees for temples across the State.

The petitioner, S. M. A.Gandhimathi Nathan of Thoothukudi, said the recent fire in Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple in Madurai and Vedaranyeswarar Temple in Thiruvalangadu and lack of basic amenities in various other temples were a result of poor administration.

He claimed that the Fit Person /Thakkar enjoyed monopoly as against the board of trustees which would allow scope for discussions on administration.

He also pointed to the case of Thiruchendur temple, where a Fit Person was dismissed on charges of corruption and Kannan Athithan was appointed as a new Fit Person. The petitioner questioned the basis of this appointment.

In order to improve temple administration, he sought a direction for constituting boards of trustees in temples across the State which shall include women and members from the schedule castes and tribes in accordance with the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Act, 1959.

A Division Bench of Justices K. K. Sasidharan and P. D. Audikesavalu directed notice to the Department of Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments and adjourned the case to December 10.

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