The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a petition challenging the Madras High Court order which had dismissed a plea seeking appointment of a trustee committee, headed by a retired judge, in all Hindu temples in Tamil Nadu.

A Bench of Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice J K Maheshwari issued notice to the state of Tamil Nadu and others seeking their responses on the plea against the December 9 last year order of the Madras High Court.

"Issue notice," the Bench said in its March 16 order.

The High Court's Madurai bench had passed its order on a plea filed by the 'Hindu Dharma Parishad' seeking a direction to the state and the commissioner of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department to appoint an 'arangavalar' committee (trustee committee) headed by a retired judge in all Hindu temples in Tamil Nadu.

While also seeking a direction to appoint a social activist, a devotee, a scheduled castes person and a woman as members of the committee to manage temples, the petitioner before the high court had claimed that several Hindu temples in the state were not maintained well and were destroyed.

While dismissing the plea, the high court had noted in its order that the advocate general had pointed out that according to section 47 (1)(c) of the Tamil Nadu Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Act, 1959, every board of trustees constituted under clause (a) or (b) shall consist of not less than three and not more than five persons, of whom one shall be a member of the scheduled castes or scheduled tribes and another one shall be a woman.

In its plea filed in the Apex Court challenging the high court order, the petitioner has claimed that the high court had "failed to see that for the past some years, 'arangavalar' were not appointed in Hindu temples" and many temples were not renovated.

The petitioner, represented by Advocate C R Jaya Sukin, has also alleged that many temples were not maintained and particularly, some ancient Hindu temples were destroyed.

With PTI inputs