The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has disposed of a petition filed by Madurai Adheenam Sri La Sri Harihara Sri Gnanasambanda Desika Paramachariya Swamigal who had challenged the appointment of the Executive Officer to Agniswaraswami Temple in Kanjanur in Thanjavur district.
The pontiff had sought a direction to the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department to strictly follow the existing scheme while appointing the EO. The pontiff said that the mutt was established more than 1,300 years ago and was administering temples in Thanjavur and Tiruvarur districts. One such temple was Agniswaraswami Temple.
The temple was being administered based on a scheme framed by the Thanjavur District Court in a civil suit, which was later modified by the authorities. The procedures set under the scheme were violated and an EO (in-charge) was appointed on January 24. As per clause 3 of the modified scheme, the HR and CE Commissioner was empowered to appoint a candidate chosen by the hereditary trustee as the EO. As per clause 4 of the modified scheme, the EO should assist the pontiff on a day-to-day basis, he said.
However, the EO had not even met him once. The order of appointment was made in violation of the scheme, the pontiff said. He pointed out that he took an oath as the pontiff of Madurai Adheenam on August 23, 2021. But, till date the register and the jewellery list of Agniswaraswami Temple were not shown to him.
Justice M. Nirmal Kumar was informed by the State that the HR and CE Commissioner in a communication sent to the pontiff had forwarded him three names as per the scheme and it was for the pontiff to select any one of them.
The counsel for the pontiff submitted that the selection would be made at the earliest within three weeks and the same would be communicated to the HR and CE Department. Taking note of the same, the judge disposed of the petition.