A division bench of the Madras High Court on Wednesday stayed the operation of the orders of a single judge imposing a cost of Rs 1 lakh on the Tamil Nadu government’s HR&CE Commissioner for not complying with its earlier order over collection of rent from the tenants of a temple property here and taking penal action against the defaulters.
The bench of Justices S Vaidyanathan and A D Jagadish Chandira stayed the orders of Justice Anita Sumanth while entertaining a writ appeal from the Commissioner, on Wednesday.
While passing orders on a contempt application from B Sukumar of Choolai in Chennai, who sought to punish the trio for willfully and deliberately disobeying the order dated June 21, 2021 of the court on his writ petition, the single judge had imposed the cost in June this year.
The judge had also imposed Rs 50,000 each towards cost on Joint Commissioner and Assistant Commissioner. However, they had remitted the amounts to the account of the Cancer Institute in Adyar, as directed by the single judge.
Originally, Sukumar 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 and pass orders in that regard.
He alleged that 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.
The single judge in June last year had directed the authorities concerned to take action as expeditiously as possible under Section 78 of the HR&CE Act in accordance with all standard operating procedures (SOPs) and regulations applicable. Contending that this order had not been implemented, the petitioner preferred the present contempt application.