The Supreme Court affirmed ejectment orders passed under the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Act, 1959 (the Act) against a group of shop tenants within the premises of Arulmighu Dhandayuthpani Swamy Temple.

The shop tenants were inducted into various shops owned by the temple management and were subsequently declared as “encroachers” under Section 78 of the Act post the termination of their original lease/licence period.

The High Court affirmed the impugned actions taken against the tenants and directed them to hand over the vacant and peaceful possession of the premises back to the temple management.

However, with an aim to resolve the dispute amicably, both parties engaged in certain offers to put “end to the protracted litigation”. Consequently, a joint prayer led to the adjournment of the proceedings for further discussions.

Justice J.K. Maheshwari and Justice Sanjay Karol observed, “It is clearly understood inter se parties that the landlords intend to develop the property, providing better facilities to the pilgrims. However, should the landlord ever carry out development, by constructing shops, in that event these tenants (51 in number) shall be given preferential treatment, subject of course, to their participating in the process of allotment and matching the price bid of the highest bidder.

AOR P. Soma Sundaram represented the petitioner, while Sr. Advocate V. Giri appeared for the respondents.

The Supreme Court affirmed the ejectment order against the tenants who had failed to clear arrears of rent/occupation charges. The parties reached a mutual agreement and the lis inter se the parties was resolved. The key terms of the settlement were as follows:

  • Initiate proceedings seeking possession” against 19 tenants who did not clear their rent arrears/occupation charges.
  • Extension of occupancy for 51 tenants for a further six months, subject to conditions including payment of revised rent, adherence to municipal by-laws, and prohibition of unauthorized constructions.
  • Preferential treatment for the aforementioned 51 tenants in case of future property development by the temple management.
  • Consequences for any breach of the agreed terms, including possible contempt proceedings and eviction.
  • Closure of all pending litigation related to the demised premises.

Accordingly, the Supreme Court disposed of the petition.

Cause Title: K. Balasubramani Etc. v. The Tamil Nadu Government & Ors. (Neutral Citation: 2024 INSC 140)


Petitioner: AOR P. Soma Sundaram and Advocate Y. Arunagiri

Respondents: Sr. Advocate V. Giri; Sr. A.A.G. V. Krishnamurthy; AOR T. Harish Kumar and D.Kumanan; Advocates R. Bharanidharan, Rahulnarag, Navneet Dugar, Subham Kothari, Preethi G, Sheikh F Kalia, Deepa. S and Bano Deswal

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