Madras HC to set aside order giving govt rights to take over Ayodhya Mandapam – India Today

Chennai News

Madras High Court on Tuesday decided to set aside an order permitting the take over of Chennai’s ‘Ayodhya Mandapam’ by the state government. Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment department (HR&CE) had taken over the administration of the property following a favourable court order.

The decision was taken by Tamil Nadu government to appoint a ‘fit person’ to manage the administration of the Mandapam after it received multiple complaints of financial mismanagement, tax evasion and other irregularities against Sri Ram Samaj, a society that managed the affairs of Ayodhya Mandapam.

Now, the court gave HR&CE the liberty to conduct an independent inquiry into the allegations and proceed further if needed. Till the inquiry is concluded, the court has given Samaj full control of Mandapam. The order will be dictated tomorrow.

On April 12, a ruckus ensued outside the Ayodhya Mandapam when HR&CE took over the building in West Mambalam. The BJP had protested against the department’s move. BJP state president Annamalai had alleged that the move was to ensure that no bajans or sathsangs happened there.

But Chief Minister Stalin clarified that decision was taken as it had received complaints about gross mismanagement.

According to government, Ayodhya Mandapam is a public temple as there is a collection of offerings from public through hundial. Samaj had claimed that it was not a temple as no idol was installed even though poojas were held. Mandapam has only portraits of Lord Ram, Sita and Hanuman that were reportedly put up by devotees.

Earlier, the court had also dismissed Samaj’s contention that Mandapam is not a public temple for the HR&CE department to take over.