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The final hearing on a long-pending writ petition in Supreme Court filed by Swamy Dayananda Saraswathi to free temples from government control and challenging the Endowments Acts of three States will commence in July.

The decision brought cheer to the Temple Protection Movement (TPM) active in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana which had filed the intervener petition against the A.P. Endowments Amendment Act 8 of 2014.

Its petition will also be heard along with the Special Leave Petition of Andhra Pradesh Government pending in the apex court.

TPM support

The intervener petition of Temple Protection Movement will support the main petitioner Swamiji’s contentions and plead with the Supreme Court for an order to free temples from the Government control.

The issue gained momentum after the main writ petition (WP 476 of 2012) filed by Swamy Dayananda Saraswathi and others challenging the Constitutionality of endowments acts of three States – Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Puducherry was listed for final hearing in Supreme Court on July 13.

Act challenged

Temple protection Movement convener M.V. Soundararajan had earlier filed an intervener petition in the Andhra Pradesh High Court challenging the amendment to the Endowments Act 8 under Section 15 brought by the present Andhra Pradesh Government.

It contended that the amendment brought by Telugu Desam Government had undone the amendment brought by Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy government to the Endowments Act through Act 33 of 2007 after the Temple Protection Movement launched a sustained campaign for reformation in temple administration.

The then YSR government amended the Act after the Joint Select Committee also upheld the views of the Temple Protection Movement, the Movement leaders said.

Trustees

But, even as the amended act was yet to be implemented in toto, the present AP Government amended Section 15 to enable the Government appoint new trustees in a unilateral fashion without consulting the ‘Dharmika Parishad’.

Endowments acts of three states challenged; TPM seeks relief from Govt. control

 

Source: SC to hear ‘freedom to temples’ plea on July 13: The Hindu – Mobile edition