MADURAI: The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court recently sought a reply from the HR and CE Department among others, on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed seeking translation and maintenance of revenue records of 490 temples situated in Kanniyakumari district.
The Athikesava Bhaktharkal Seva Trust, represented by its secretary N Thangappan, submitted in the PIL that the temples in Kanniyakumari were previously under the control of the erstwhile Cochin-Travancore Samasthanam and were transferred to Tamil Nadu after the State reorganisation.
As of now, there are 490 temples in the district under the supervision of the HR and CE department and each temple possesses several acres of land, he added. But the revenue records of these temples are in Malayalam and the officials of the revenue and HR and CE departments are unable to understand the documents or identify the properties mentioned in them, the litigant alleged. For some temples, the authorities do not even have the documents, he added.
Due to this, a large number of temple properties in the district are either encroached upon or under illegal possession of private individuals, the litigant said, adding that this cannot be stopped unless the revenue documents are translated, along with their old survey numbers, and maintained by the authorities.
Hearing the plea, a Bench comprising Justices R Mahadevan and J Sathya Narayana Prasad directed the government counsel to get details from the authorities concerned and report before the court. The case was adjourned to November 3.