“He could not be appointed as pontiff of Madurai Adheenam”

: Two cases have been filed in the Madras High Court Bench here in connection with the recent coronation of Nityananda of Bidadi in Karnataka as the 293{+r}{+d}pontiff of Madurai Adheenam by Sri Arunagirinatha Sri Gnanasambanda Desikar.

While T. Gurusamy Desikar (80), manager of Dharmapuram Mutt here, had filed a habeas corpus petition alleging that Sri Gnanasambanda Desikar was in the illegal custody of Nithyananda, M. Solaikannan (33) of Hindu People's Party had filed the other writ petition in public interest.

Stating that the coronation of Nithyananda as the pontiff of Madurai Adheenam had sent shockwaves across the Saivite circle, the habeas corpus petitioner alleged that certain procedures prescribed under the Agamas as well as Yagams were not performed before such coronation. Taking a similar stand, the PIL petitioner added that Nithyananda could not be appointed as pontiff of Madurai Adheenam as he belonged to Arcot Mudaliar community whereas the post could be occupied only by those belonging to Saiva Vellalar community.

He also claimed that a junior pontiff could not have absolute control over the mutt during the lifetime of the senior pontiff.

“The seventh respondent (Nityananda) does not practise celibacy and is not a Sanyasi (one who had relished worldly life) to become the pontiff of Madurai Adheenam,” he said.

The petitioner was also aggrieved against statements made by both pontiffs that they would take steps to annexe the Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple, now under the control of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department, with the Madurai Adheenam.

“The seventh respondent has clandestinely and in a well planned manner usurped the mutt having 1,250 acres of land, innumerable temples and properties both in India and abroad worth about Rs. 1,200 crore,” his affidavit filed along with the PIL petition read.

It also alleged that Nityananda was planning to send the 292{+n}{+d}pontiff to a foreign country in order to prevent him from reversing the coronation.

The petitioner said that he had made a representation in this regard to the Chief Minister's special cell as well as the Madurai Collector.

He sought for a direction to the State Government to take absolute control over the entire Madurai Adheenam by appointing an impartial administrative committee headed by a retired High Court judge apart from providing adequate police protection to the Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple.