Kerala HC asks govt to return Rs 10 crore it got from Guruvayur temple for flood relief

In May this year, Guruvayur Devasom Board chairman K B Mohandas had handed over the fund to the Thrissur district collector saying the contribution was part of the temple’s social responsibility.
A devotee N Nagesh had approached the court saying that the presiding deity was the sole proprietor of the temple fund and the board has no right to divert the shrine fund.(PTI FILE PHOTO.)
A devotee N Nagesh had approached the court saying that the presiding deity was the sole proprietor of the temple fund and the board has no right to divert the shrine fund.(PTI FILE PHOTO.)
Updated on Dec 18, 2020 08:26 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram | By Ramesh Babu

The Kerala High Court on Friday ordered the state government to return Rs 10 crore it had received from the Guruvayur Devasom Board towards the CM’s relief fund. In the order the court said the temple fund was meant to develop the shrine and its allied services and it was not proper to divert it for other reasons.

A devotee N Nagesh had approached the court saying that the presiding deity was the sole proprietor of the temple fund and the board has no right to divert the shrine fund. The temple board had contributed Rs 10 crore to the CM’s relief fund after two consecutive floods in the state, 2018 and 2019. Earlier, a single bench of the High Court had asked the government to return the money but the government approached a division bench which also upheld the single bench verdict.

In May this year, Guruvayur Devasom Board chairman K B Mohandas had handed over the fund to the Thrissur district collector saying the contribution was part of the temple’s social responsibility. Many Hindu bodies had decried the decision saying it was unlawful. But the board justified its decision saying it was done earlier also.

“Matters such as contributions towards disaster relief fund do not fall under the preview of the Devasom Board. It can protect the temple wealth but has no right to pass it on to someone else,” the court said in its order. Many organisations including the Hindu Aikya Vedi lauded the verdict.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2021