The Telangana High Court held that Archakas of Sri Venugopala and Seetha Ramachandra Swamy Temple are entitled to the salaries for the archakathvam.

The Court pointed out that the “The usufruct of the land which is mutated in the names of the fathers of the petitioners is being enjoyed by their fathers and the Archakas, who are majors and are married, are a separate family and are therefore separate from their parents.

A Single Bench of Justice T. Madhavi Devi observed, “However, the respondents have stopped payment of salaries to the petitioners from the year 2021 onwards on the ground that the land of the temple to the extent of Ac.57.16 gts., under Section 43 of the Inams Abolition Act was being enjoyed by the Hereditary Archaka Family Members for acting as Sthanachary and was being enjoyed by the Archakas who used to perform Dhoopa Deepa Naivedyam in the temple and that the said land was mutated in their names duly deleting the name of the temple from the revenue records.

Advocate M Vidyasagar represented the petitioners.

The Archakas sought a Writ of Mandamus against the action of the Commissioner of Endowments arguing that they were unlawfully deprived of their salaries under the pretext of enjoying temple lands. The Archakas hailed from the family of long-time Hereditary Trustees and Archakas who had uninterruptedly rendered their services and were recognised as Hereditary Office Holders.

The occupancy rights certificate of the lands had been issued in favour of the fathers of Archakas by the competent authority under the Inams Abolition Act and since then, the fathers of the Archakas had been enjoying the lands without any hindrance.

The temple had submitted that it had no role to play in the issue relating to the payment of salaries to the Archakas since it was stopped in the first place under the directions of the Commissioner of Endowments.

The Court noted that the salaries of the Archakas were stopped after the authorities observed that the Hereditary Archaka Family Members as well as the Archakas are enjoying the temple lands and have also obtained pattas in their names as per the then revenue records.

The Court held, “Though, it is noticed that it is only on the proposal of the Hereditary Archakas that the petitioners have been appointed as Archakas, it is done with the permission and concurrence of the Commissioner of Endowments and therefore, it cannot be said that the Archakas are not entitled to the salaries for the services rendered by them.”

Accordingly, the High Court allowed the petition.

Cause Title: Naragirinadhuni Ranga Bhattacharyulu & Ors. v. State of Telangana & Ors.


Petitioners: Advocate M Vidyasagar

Respondents: Government Pleader for Endowments

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