Madras HC imposes Rs.1 lakh fine on HR&CE Commissioner, Rs. 50 k on two subordinates for Contempt of Court

Chennai, Jul 28 (PTI) The Madras High Court has imposed a cost of Rs 1 lakh on the Commissioner of the Tamil Nadu Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment (HR&CE) department and Rs 50,000 each on two of his subordinates for not implementing its earlier order passed in 2021 with regard to collection of rent from the tenants of temple property and taking penal action against the defaulters.

The subordinate officers are the Assistant Commissioner and Joint Commissioner. The amount shall be remitted to the Cancer Institute at Adyar here within two weeks, Justice Anita Sumanth said in a recent order.

The judge was closing a contempt application from B Sukumar, who sought to punish the trio for willfully and deliberately disobeying the order dated June 21, 2021 of the Court on his writ petition.

Originally, the petitioner had filed a writ petition for a direction to the HR&CE Commissioner to consider his representation sent in September, 2020 to the Executive Officer of Sri Sokkavel Subramaniya, Angala Parameswari and Kasi Viswanathar temple on South Mada Street in Choolai here and pass orders in that regard.

He alleged the properties of the temple in the area had been allotted to certain individuals, but they had not been remitting the rents to the temple. Since he was an erstwhile trustee and was interested in the welfare of the temple, he sent the representation, he claimed

And the judge in June last year had directed the authorities concerned to take action as expeditiously as possible under Sec. 78 of the HR&CE Act in accordance with all Standard Operating Procedures and Regulations applicable.

Contending that this order had not been implemented, the petitioner preferred the present contempt application.

The judge found there was nothing to explain the delay in complying with the directions of the Court till date. That apart, the officers do not even express any regret and are brazen about the non-compliance. As contempt of the directions given in the earlier order is apparent and the casual and unacceptable attitude of the respondents are visible, the judge said that it is a fit case to impose the costs and accordingly imposed the same on them.


Report Source: PTI news service.