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Notice to board on appointment of archakas

The Hindu, May 26, 2007  http://www.hindu.com/2007/05/26/stories/2007052614800700.htm

Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: Justice P.R. Shivakumar of the Madras High Court has ordered notice to the Commissioner and Joint Commissioner of Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Board, among others, on a petition seeking to quash an order permitting a Fit Person to appoint two persons as `archakas' (priests) at the Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy temple at Narasimgapuram in Tiruvallur district.

In his petition, S.M. Nandagopal, managing trustee of the temple, submitted that the temple was an ancient one and constructed as per the Pancharatra Agama. The poojas and rituals were performed according to the agama. As per the agama, only those persons born in a Bhattacharya family and who had undergone various processes and diksha were qualified to be archakas.

On the request of the Fit Person of the Trust, the Commissioner of the Board had permitted two persons to be appointed archakas.They did not belong to the Bhattacharya sect and were not trained at the Pancharatra Agama Patasala, which imparts archaka training. They were not qualified.

The Commissioner, Joint Commissioner and the Fit Person had no administrative powers to appoint archakas in the temple. The action was not only against agama sastras but also violated Articles 25 and 26 of the Constitution, the petitioner said.

Kept in abeyance

In a communication, the HR and CE department had said that it had kept in abeyance the order for administrative reasons.

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