BJP leader Subramanian Swamy in his reply to the Uttarakhand Government against the takeover of 51 temples including Kedarnath and Badrinath said that the State Government totally violated the Constitution and rights of the devotees. In his 49-page counter reply filed before the Uttarakhand High Court, petitioner Swamy said that the new Char Dham Devasthanam Management Act 2019 is totally illegal and against the spirit of many High Court and Supreme Court judgments against the takeover of temples by Governments.
Giving point-by-point rebuttal to the State Government’s reply to his petition, Swamy said that the State Government producing his Tweets on the matter itself shows that he is a concerned person on this case. Earlier in a 21-page reply, the State Government has produced a copy of his tweets accusing that Swamy was unhappy for not consulting and violating the court rules. “The tweets annexed to the Counter Affidavit of the respondent (Govt) bear eloquent testimony to the commitment of the Petitioner concerning his pursuit of this cause,” shot back Swamy in his reply. Swamy also pointed out his letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the matter explain the illegalities of the controversial temple takeover Act.
The High Court Bench comprising Chief Justice Ramesh Ranganathan and Justice Ramesh Chandra Khulbe will hear the matter on June 22. Subramanian Swamy is represented by Advocate Manisha Bhandari.
Swamy blamed the State Government for raising allegations against the priests and families looking after the temples in Uttarakhand including Kedarnath and Badrinath. “The direct allegation has been made on the revered Rawals and of course the most respected Tehri Burbar but it is unclear why the Tehri Durbar still forms part of the Nominated Members. The pilgrims have been visiting the temple for years without any problems and there were never any complaints with regard to the same. Assuming without admitting that the income was squandered, appropriate action could have been taken against the people involved but the same was never done. It shocks the religious conscience of the petitioner with regard to sudden takeover of 51 temples by the State Government without any information with regard to who made the purported complaints and why no action was taken on them till date,” said Swamy pointing out that many times Courts have ruled that temple takeover is only for a limited period to rectify the problems found in the management.
In his petition, Swamy pointed out a series of judgments including the landmark Judgment of the Supreme Court against the Tamil Nadu Government’s takeover of Nataraja Temple. Swamy also pointed out his other cases against Governments including the ongoing case on the management of Tirupati Temple.
Swamy said that the State Government lied in several places, claiming there were agitations by the public against temple management. He also pointed out that Government was unnecessarily citing six-year-old (2013) natural calamities in Kedarnath as a reason for the takeover. Swamy also said that State Government was wrongly quoting the 1939 Act and making wrong inferences.
In his reply to Government, Swamy said that some provisions of the Act say, if there is no Zila Panchayat, the District Collector can nominate persons in the Board. “This is practically State Acquisition of an ancient group of religious denomination and departmentalization of the entire Devasthanam for an indefinite period,” said Swamy pointing out series of violations in the Constitution of India and illegalities of the Act passed by the BJP ruled Uttarakhand Government. The High Court Bench comprising Chief Justice Ramesh Ranganathan and Justice Ramesh Chandra Khulbe will hear the matter on June 22. Subramanian Swamy is represented by Advocate Manisha Bhandari.
 Uttarakhand’s 51 temple takeover case: BJP Govt objects to Subramanian Swamy’s petition – Jun 11, 2020, PGurus.com
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