SC Reprimands Political Parties Over Control on Temple Trust Boards

SC Reprimands Political Parties Over Control on Temple Trust Boards

The Supreme Court has said that the management of temples should be delinked from political party authorities as it disapproved of the practising of any ruling party linking with the temple trust boards with its legislators and party workers.

The top court said the time has come for political outfits to rise above party lines and work to strengthen the administration of places of worship in the interest of devotees after hearing about the managing committee of the Shirdi’s Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust, which the Bombay high court scrapped through an order on September 13, comprised members from NCP, Congress, and Shiv Sena.

“Why do politicians become so active about certain temples and want to take over the management? Whosoever comes in, they put their men for various reasons. The time has come to rise above the party lines. Party lines won’t work anymore,” the bench of justices Ajay Rastogi and CT Ravi Kumar said.

“We have seen the list of the respondents…Every fellow downward is from some party. People should rise above party lines. People from various segments should come together for the betterment of these temples and their devotees. This has to be delinked from political parties,” remarked the court.

“If the state government would have appointed independent trustees and not the politicians who have close connections with the ruling party, said Sansthan Trust, which is a public trust and is a custodian of public money and property, it would have saved huge amounts of public money spent on unnecessary litigation,” the high court judgment said.

The main concern of raising these disputes is that public trusts that manage places of worship do not become a sanctuary for politicians and party workers. So, to make political strengthening transparent, these activities should be stopped not to become part of the wrong ruling party just because they do donations and welfare for the religious sentiment.

Meanwhile, the court also sought responses on an appeal filed by NCP MLA Ashutosh Ashokrao Kale, whose appointment as chairman of the Shirdi trust was nixed by the Aurangabad bench of the high court on September 13.

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Uttar Pradesh