The Kerala High Court held that a mere application for impleadment after filing of writ petition will not serve the purpose, if the petition for seeking such a relief did not contain specific allegations against the parties to be impleaded.

Therefore, in the absence of necessary averments in the writ petition in support of the reliefs sought for and necessary parties in the party (Temple Advisory Committee) array, the High Court found no reason to entertain this writ petition.

The High Court held so while considering a petition seeking a direction to the respondent (Travancore Devaswom Board) to conduct audit of accounts of the Temple Advisory Committee of Thrippapoor Major Sree Mahadevar Temple.

The Division Bench of Justice Anil K. Narendran and Justice G. Girish observed that “the Temple Advisory Committee of Thrippapoor Major Sree Mahadevar Temple and its officer bearers against whom there are allegations in Ext.P6 enquiry report, are necessary parties to this writ petition.

Advocate D. Ajithkumar appeared for the Petitioner whereas Advocate G. Santhosh Kumar appeared for the Respondent.

The brief facts of the case were that the petitioner along with three others had approached the Court raising various allegations against the Temple Advisory Committee of Thrippapoor Major Sree Mahadevar Temple. That writ petition was disposed of by directing the Chief Vigilance and Security Officer (Superintendent of Police) to conduct an enquiry which is resulted in submission of report before the said respondent. The grievance of the petitioner is that despite serious irregularities being noticed in report the first respondent Travancore Devaswom Board is yet to take any decision on that aspect.

After considering the submission, the Bench noted that Rule 148 of the Rules of High Court of Kerala, 1971 deals with addition of parties. As per Rule 148, all persons directly affected shall be made parties to the petition.

The Bench stated that where such persons are numerous, one or more of them may with the permission of the court on application made of the purpose be impleaded on behalf of or for the benefit of all persons so affected; but notice of the Original Petition shall, on admission, be given to all such persons either by personal service or by public advertisement as the Court in each case may direct.

Referring to the first proviso to Rule 148, the Bench mentioned that where the State Government is a party, the Secretary to the Government Department concerned shall be arrayed as party representing the Government.

The Bench further mentioned with the help of second proviso to Rule 148 that if the subject matter of the petition relates to two or more Government Departments or, if the petition is of such a nature, the disposal of which warrants information from two or more Government Departments, the Chief Secretary to Government and the Secretaries to those Government and the Secretaries to those Government Departments shall be made as party representing the Government.

Hence, the High Court rejected the petition and advised a petitioner to file a fresh writ petition with appropriate pleadings and proper parties in the party array.

Cause Title: Gopakumar.P. v. Travancore Devaswom Board and Ors. [Neutral Citation: 2023: KER: 69537]

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