The Madras High Court on Monday disposed of a batch of cases related to appointment of Archakas to various temples in the State after concurring with the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) department that Fit Persons (temporary administrators) can make the appointments in the absence of temple trustees.
First Division Bench of Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice N. Mala recorded the submission of Advocate General R. Shunmugasundaram and Special Government Pleader N.R.R. Arun Natarajan that all appointments so far had been made strictly in accordance with the Supreme Court judgments passed in 1972 and 2015.
The Bench made it clear that if any of the appointments had been made either in violation of the relevant rules or the dictum laid down by the Supreme Court in Seshammal versus State of Tamil Nadu (1972) or the Adi Saiva Sivachariyargal case (2015), those appointments could be challenged by way of individual writ petitions.
In both the cases, the Supreme Court had held that appointments of Archakas would have to be made in accordance with the Agama Sastras governing individual temples subject to their due identification as well as their conformity with the constitutional mandates and principles.
Mr. Natarajan told the court there were two Vaishnava Agamas and 26 Saiva Agamas that govern various temples in the State and that archakas trained only in the specific agama had been appointed in the temple concerned.