Madras High Court Strikes Down Temple Land Lease Transfer, Says It Amounts To Encroachment
Madras High Court Strikes Down Temple Land Lease Transfer, Says It Amounts To EncroachmentThe Madras High Court

The Madras High Court has ruled that enjoying temple properties without valid documents will also amount to encroachment. This ruling has come in a case pertaining to the Palayamkottai Sokkanathar Sama temple in Tamil Nadu’s Tirunelveli district after two persons who had got four cents of the temple’s land on a third party lease filed a petition in the court, according to a report in Tamil daily Dinakaran.

According to the two persons, Shahul Hameed and Abdul Kareem, they had got lease of the temple lands from another party. But the temple executive officer ruled that Shahul Hameed and Abdul Kareem were illegally occupying the lands and submitted details to the State Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HRCE) Department. The HRCE department held an enquiry on the report submitted by the executive officer and in August 2011 the duo was asked to vacate.

The two then appealed to the HRCE Commissioner, who dismissed it. Following this, Shahul Hameed and Abdul Kareem petitioned the Madras High Court. The advocate told the court that the change of the lease to the petitioners was intimated to the temple authorities. However, the Government special pleader said that only the lease to the first party was valid and it could not be transferred. Therefore, the petitioners cannot claim to enjoy the lease, he said.

Justice S M Subramaniam, who heard the case, said the petitioners had not clearly explained if the original lease could be transferred. Also, the change of lease without getting permission from the concerned authorities was illegal, he said adding that enjoying temple properties without valid documents amounted to illegal occupation.

Moreover, the judge pointed out that the petitioners had not been paying the rent for the lease properly, Justice Subramaniam said, adding that the changed lease didn’t specify the period of its validity. The judge also ordered the HRCE Department to immediately recover the property that was being illegally occupied.

An Appeal...

Dear Reader,

As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.

Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.

We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.

Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.

Become A Patron
Become A Subscriber