Temple Dues Delay: Allahabad HC Expresses Discontent, Summons Govt Official

Mainstream
20-Mar-2024
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The Allahabad High Court expressed dissatisfaction over the delayed release of dues to temples and trusts in Uttar Pradesh, remarking that it was distressing to see them resorting to legal recourse for their payments.

Justice Rohit Ranjan Agarwal, while hearing a petition filed by Thakur Rangji Maharaj Virajman Mandir, observed, "This Court is pained to note that temples and trusts have to knock the doors of the Court for getting their dues released from the State Government."

The Court highlighted the anomaly of temple authorities struggling to obtain their dues, calling for a more streamlined process. Justice Agarwal directed the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath, to address the matter promptly. Summoning the Secretary of UP’s Board of Revenue to explain the delayed payments to nine temples in Vrindavan over the past four years, the Court emphasized the need for accountability.

"It is not a question of payment for a single year, but the annuity has not been transferred to the temple in question for the last four years," the Court remarked, expressing astonishment over the reasons cited for the delay. The petitioner temple, seeking payment under Section 99 of the UP Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms Act, highlighted that ₹3,52,080 in annuity had not been disbursed from 2020 to 2023.

The Court criticized the lack of proactive measures by government officials, noting that efforts to release the dues had been insufficient. It directed the State Chief Secretary to bring the issue to the attention of the Chief Minister for prompt action.

"Let this order be handed over to learned Chief Standing Counsel Dr. Rajeshwar Tripathi within 24 hours for necessary compliance... The Registrar (Compliance) shall intimate this order through FAX within 24 hours to the Chief Secretary, Government of U.P. who shall place this matter before the Chief Minister for necessary action," the Court instructed.

The matter is scheduled for further hearing on March 20, underscoring the urgency of resolving the longstanding issue of delayed payments to temples and trusts in Uttar Pradesh.

Author: Anushka Taraniya

News Writer, MIT ADT University