Decided on August 22,2003

G Ajithkumar Appellant


- (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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