HC orders status-quo on archaka recruitment

 The Madras High Court has ordered maintaining status quo in the matter of recruitment of ''archakas'' in Hindu temples.

Justice Dr Anita Sumanth granted the interim injunction while entertaining a writ petition from the All India Adi Saiva Sivacharyargal Seva Sangam last week. The last date for receipt of applications was August 7.

"Status-quo be maintained thereafter, until further orders," the judge said and posted the matter to August 25 with a direction to the authorities concerned to circulate the Tamil Nadu Hindu Religious Institutions Employees (Conditions of Service) Rules, 2020 to the other parties in the case.

The petitioner sought to quash the advertisements issued on July 6 this year inviting applications for the posts of archakas, odhuvars and paricharakar to the temples in the state.

It was proposed to appoint people holding certificate courses as Archakas in temples.

Among other things, the petitioner contended that the impugned order is arbitrary and violative of the principles of natural justice.

The state government has failed to see that the qualification for appointment of ''archakas'' is no longer res integra, as the same has been settled by the Supreme Court in 2019.

The government is time and again being vindictive towards the members of the petitioner sangam and similar organisations, which testified their malafide intention, it claimed.

The order tantamount to a direct assault on the rights of the members of the petitioner sangam and similarly placed persons.

The authorities have failed to see that the power to appoint Archakas cannot be relegated or assigned to persons who have no knowledge about the Agamas or functioning of temples.

Temple trustees alone are empowered to appoint Archakas as per this section. Thus, the impugned order ran counter to the provisions of the Act and hence, liable to be repelled, petitioner said.

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