After HC order, TN govt takes steps to recover encroached temple land

The Tamil Nadu Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment (HR&CE) department has begun the paperwork to retrieve 62 acres of encroached land of Arulmigu Trisoolanathar temple in Tirusulam.

The Madras High Court (HC) on Monday ordered the HR&CE department to immediately take steps to retrieve the 62 acre temple land, which was encroached upon. The first-judge bench of the Madras HC comprising Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice P.D. Adikesavalu had ordered the authorities concerned to report in six weeks time against the action taken to retrieve the encroached land.

The court order said, “The report should also indicate how and under what circumstances a part of the land belonging to the temple may have been given to a third party.”

The action of the Madras HC came after a plea filed by Advocate S. Xavier Felix that a substantial part of the land belonging to the temple was encroached upon and that the authorities concerned had not taken appropriate steps to retrieve the land.

The lawyer representing the DMK government, P. Muthukumar told the court that 83.26 acre of land belonging to the temple was in possession of a third party, of which the temple was receiving rent for nearly 21 acre of land.

The government counsel informed the court that the 62-acre temple land was encroached upon and forged documents were used by the encroachers to usurp the land. He said action was being taken against the encroachers to retrieve the land.

The court has directed the Chennai District Collector and revenue officials to lend all support to the HR&CE department for measuring the land and enable an appropriate report to be filed.

The HR&CE department has directed the temple Executive Officer to coordinate with the revenue officials for measuring the land and to get documentation for the property.

The HR&CE Commissioner has communicated to the Chennai District Collector to provide adequate support to the Executive Officer of the temple to retrieve the lost land following the Madras HC order.