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Saketri temple: Haryana government restrained from taking over management

Saketri temple: Haryana government restrained from taking over management

Author: TNN
Publication: The Times of India
Date: May 13, 2009
URL: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/msid-4522637%2Cprtpage-1.cms

Even as Haryana government and Shiv Mandir Nav Durga Charitable Trust are engaged in a pitched legal battle over 500-year-old Shiva Temple at Saketri in Panchkula, justice Surya Kant of Punjab and Haryana High Court granted interim succour to the trust by ''restraining'' the state of Haryana from taking over temple management.

The judge also admitted for regular hearing of the plea filed by charitable trust that had rushed to the high court against the ''action of Haryana government''.

The trust's counsel emphasized the temple was initially developed by a society and later on by a trust, and till date, there had not been a single allegation of mismanagement against it.

Interestingly, the counsel said the government had earlier also, in 2004, made an attempt to acquire the temple management by seeking account details, etc, but ''slept over'' the matter for nearly five years after the records were duly supplied. A committee was constituted in July 2008 and the entire process had been completed without even involving the petitioner-trust, it was alleged.

Questioning the locus standi of state government in trying to take over the temple, the counsel argued the ''land where the temple is situated falls within the UT forest land, and an Act, law or an enactment can only be made applicable within the territory of the state. In the present case, the state government's decision will virtually extend to a territory beyond the jurisdiction of State of Haryana as the land under the temple, which is sought to be managed by Haryana, falls in UT of Chandigarh.''

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