Government employees in Tamil Nadu should be employed to manage schools and hospitals rather than being asked to run temples, the Supreme Court said on Friday.
The oral observation from a Bench led by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud came in a plea filed by T.R. Ramesh pointing out that 46,000 temples were administered by the State under the Tamil Nadu Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Act, 1959.
The court issued notice to the Tamil Nadu government and sought a response.
The Bench allowed senior advocate C.S. Vaidyanathan, for the petitioner, to file an affidavit detailing the number of temples with no trustees and the number of them where government officers have been deputed.
"Most of these temples may be in small villages and towns…" the court said.
It said government could be part of the administration in temples which have large endowments or footfall so that funds could be used for further public purposes.
"Where does the government get so many officers to be deputed to temples?" the court asked.
Mr. Vaidyanathan said the mechanism is used to provide more employment.
These especially include temples in villages and small towns which have no hereditary trustees.