The Simhachalam temple has no right on the ‘panchagramalu’. As both the plaintiff and defendant were of the view that the said lands belong to the Simhachalam Devasthanam, it is only natural that the High Court opined that the lands belong to the temple, according to the CPI(M) city committee.
Reacting to reports which appeared in the newspapers on Friday, party city committee secretary M. Jaggunaidu said that the court while fixing the next date for hearing on the issue on August 25, also questioned the State government as to how it would regularise temple lands. He said that the lands do not belong to the temple. The temple authorities do not have any documents to show that the lands belong to the temple except the pattas issued by the Pendurthi and Chinagadhili Tahsildars in 1996 and 1997.
The then Visakhapatnam RDO, on the directions of the AP High Court, had ruled in 2010 that the pattas given to the temple were not valid. He had ordered for conduct of a comprehensive survey of the lands. The government has not taken up the survey to this date. The CPI(M) had also filed a case in the High Court in 2014 demanding an inquiry into the irregularities in the land issue. The High Court had ordered the State government to conduct a high-level probe into the issue and submit a report within six months. A three-member team, appointed by the State government, had also submitted a report that the ‘pattas’ were not valid. The government had failed to taken any action on that report.
Mr. Jaggunaidu said that no official survey was conducted on the ‘panchagramalu’ lands after the Gilman Survey in 1903. This survey report mentions the rights of the farmers on those lands but the temple has no documents or evidence to prove its claims. He said that the CPI(M) would take the facts to the notice of the High Court. He appealed to the court to give its final judgment only after considering these issues.