The Bombay High Court Division Bench consisting of Justices Akil Kureshi and SJ Kathawalla passed an order that Pujaris or priests are eligible to be appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Devasthan (Temple) Trust which set aside a part of the circular that was issued by State Charity Commissioner on November 13, 2017 whereby priests were barred from being appointed on the trustee board of temples.
The Advocates appearing for the priest had challenged the circular, which had stated that Pujaris taking income from the temple cannot be made its trustees. Against which the public prosecutor contended that it was issued for the better management of trusts and in public interest.
The Hon’ble High Court cited the Supreme Court case of Trambakeshwar Devasthan Trust & Anr. Vs. President, Purohit Sangh & Ors, wherein the Court held that the service of Purohits (priests) was not in conflict with interest of the Temple Trust and further that they needed to be represented in the Board of Trustees as per the Maharashtra Public Trust Act. The court further held that "the rest of the circular remains unchanged. Nothing stated in the order would prevent the Charity Commissioner from issuing further directives or a fresh circular in the interest of better administration of the trust, as may be permissible in accordance with law". Therefore it disposed of the petitions ruling for the petitioners.
Tags : #BombayHC #Pujaris #trustees