My Name Was Misused By Justice A K Rajan Committee- Expert Named In Report On Archaka Appointment Approaches Madras HC
The Madras High Court has disposed of a Writ Petition filed by Dr. T. Ganesan alleging that his name has been wrongly included as a special invitee in the 2008 report of the High-Level Committee headed by Justice AK Rajan (retired) and seeking removal of his name.
Opposing the plea, Arun Natarajan, the Special Government Pleader contended during the hearing that though Dr. T. Ganesan was not invited for any discussion, his books, articles and other works were analysed and hence his name was included in the list of Special Invitees.
The Bench of Justice C Saravanan observed that the report was gazetted in December, 2008 and after this long period, the issue cannot be reopened.
The Court observed that it can grant permission to Dr. Ganesan to dissociate from the report and its contents and that if he had any disagreement, the same can be made in public.
The Special Government Pleader opposed the same contending that the intention of the Petitioner is not only to discredit the report but to discredit a retired Judge of the High Court.
Advocate M. Ramamoorthi for the Petitioner argued that if there is any proof of Dr. Ganesan's participation in the deliberations of the High-Level Committee, the same can be produced before the Honourable Court.
The Court disposed of the case by observing that Dr. Ganesan can dissociate from the report and its contents and if he had any disagreement, the same can be made in public, in whatever manner, as he is entitled to do so. The order has not been published on the website of the High Court yet.
A Committee was constituted by the Government of Tamil Nadu in 2006 to offer suggestions to take a policy decision in the matter of age and minimum educational qualification for receiving training for being appointed as Archaka, syllabus and duration of their training, places where the training institutes are to be established, etc.
The government of Tamil Nadu had taken a decision that all Hindus who have the required training and qualifications may become Archaka in all Hindu religious institutions under the control of the Tamil Nadu Hindu Religious Charitable Endowment Department, without any caste discrimination. Seeking suggestions on how to effectively implement the decision, the state government had constituted the High-Level Committee.
The Petitioner's name was mentioned in the report of the Committee as one of the special invitees who extended their views and suggestions to the Committee.
"However, the petitioner did not even know the existence of such a Committee and its report till recently. He was never a part of any deliberations of this so called High-Level Committee, never attended any meeting with this Committee at Srirangam or Coimbatore or Chennai or at any other location, never offered any views, opinions or suggestions to the Committee and never filled any questionnaire as a Special Invitee as claimed by the Committee", Dr. Ganesan says in his petition filed through Advocate M. Ramamoorthi.
The Petitioner says that he has neither given permission to use his name nor was any such permission sought from him by anyone. "Inclusion of the petitioner's name as a Special Invitee without his knowledge and consent is a clear case of misuse of his professional reputation to add credibility to the report and to show to public that whatever stated in the report is known and accepted by the petitioner", the plea says.
The Petitioner says that the contents of the report are contrary to to Agamic principles and Treatises and a report that he disapproves of. He says that "Such wrongful inclusion of the petitioner's name in the High Level Comrnittee report damages his reputation resulting in scorn, contempt or ridicule from public who have known of his works on Saiva agamas for decades".
The Petitioner also says that he has impleaded Justice AK Rajan as a Respondent to explain the circumstances under which he chose to include Petitioner's name as a Special Invitee.
Last month, a Division Bench of the High Court had passed an interim order constituting a committee to be headed by a retired Judge of the Supreme Court, Justice Doraiswamy Raju to look into the issue relating to qualification for appointment of Aarchakas in Temples under the state's control. The Committee was constituted to identify agamic and non-agamic temples to address the issue of qualification of Archakas to be appointed to those temples.