G AJITHKUMAR Vs. STATE OF KERALA
HIGH COURT OF KERALA
STATE OF KERALA
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(1.) SREE Krishna Temple, Guruvayoor is a very ancient Temple of unique importance which owns extensive properties and endowments and in which millions of devotees
from all over India and abroad are reposing their faith and belief.
(2.) GURUVAYOOR Devaswom Act, 1978, (hereinafter referred to as 'the Act') was enacted to make provision for the proper administration of the Guruvayoor Devaswom. The
salient features of the Act are the Constitution of a Managing Committee, appointment
of a Commissioner and of an Administrator. The administration, control and
management of the Devaswom are vested with the Committee constituted as stated in
S.4 of the Act. There are three permanent members in the Committee, viz., the Zamorin
Raja, the Karanavan for the time being of the Mallisseri Illom at Guruvayoor and the
Thanthri of the Temple. A representative of the employees of the Devaswom nominated
by the Hindus among the Council of Ministers is a member. So also, not more than five
persons, of whom one shall be a member of a Scheduled Caste, nominated by the
Hindus among the Council of Ministers from among persons having interest in the
Temple. Thus there are nine members in the Committee. The term of the member
nominated under Cl.(d) or Cl.(e) of sub-s.(1) of S.4 was originally fixed as two years.
Subsequently, it was enhanced to four years and by Act 20 of 2001, it was again
reduced to two.
Chap.3 of the Act deals with administration and establishment of the Managing Committee. The Administrator is appointed by the Managing Committee from among a
panel of names suggested by the Government. The Administrator should be a person
not below the rank of Deputy Collector. So far as the Commissioner is concerned, the
Commissioner is an Officer not below the rank of Secretary to Government, who
professes the Hindu Religion and believes in Temple worship, appointed by the
Government. S.5 of the Act deals with the term of office of non official members,
resignation and removal of such members and casual vacancies in their office. The
duties of the Committee are mentioned in the Act itself. Powers and duties of
Administrator are mentioned in S.17 of the Act. The Administrator shall be the
Secretary to the Committee and its Chief Executive Officer and shall subject to the
control of the Committee, have powers to carry out its decisions in accordance with the
provisions of this Act.
(3.) CHAP .4 deals with budget, accounts and audit. S.21(3) of the Act says that the Commissioner may, after giving notice to the Committee in the prescribed manner and
after considering its representation, if any, make such alterations, omissions or
additions in the budget as the Commissioner may deem fit and the Commissioner shall
send a copy of the budget to the Government. S.24 of the Act says that after
completing the audit for any year or shorter period or for any transaction or series of
transactions as he deems fit, the auditor shall send a report to the Commissioner.
Under S.26 of the Act, the Commissioner shall send a copy of every audit report to the
Committee and it shall be the duty of the Commissioner to remedy the defects or
irregularities pointed out by the auditor and report the same to the Commissioner.
Under S.26(2) of the Act, the Commissioner has got power to find out whether the
Committee or any Officer or other employee of the Devaswom was guilty of
misappropriation or willful waste of the funds of the Devaswom. After giving notice to
the Committee or such Officer or other employee, the Commissioner shall surcharge it
or him. So far as the meetings of the Committee are concerned, S.7 of the Act fixes the
quorum as 3.;
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