Temple lands can’t be transferred: High Court

While upholding the order of a single judge quashing the move of the state government to assign the lands of Sri Sakthi Muthamman Temple in Chinna Neelankarai, Chennai and Sri Kottai Mariamman temple in Omalur, Salem to the fisheries and transport departments respectively, the Madras High Court on Wednesday held that temple lands cannot be transferred to other departments without the consent of HR&CE commissioner.

While heading the first bench with Justice N Mala, Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari passed the orders on disposing of the writ appeals filed by the state government. The state had challenged the November 2020 order of Justice R Mahadevan who quashed the orders by the government to allocate the temple lands to the fisheries department in Chennai and the transport department in Omalur.

When the matter was taken up, the first bench held that they are concurring with the judgment of the single judge quashing the government’s move to transfer the temple lands to the various government departments.