Deity is owner of land attached to temple, priest cannot be treated as ‘Bhumiswami’: Supreme Court

Deity is proprietor of land connected to temple, priest can’t be handled as ‘Bhumiswami’: Supreme Courtroom

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A Bench of Justices Hemant Gupta and A. S. Bopanna stated the ‘pujari’, or priest, solely holds the land for the aim of administration of the property of the temple.

A priest can’t be handled as Bhumiswami (proprietor of land) and the deity is the proprietor of the land connected to a temple, the Supreme Courtroom has dominated.

A Bench of Justices Hemant Gupta and A. S. Bopanna stated the ‘pujari’, or priest, solely holds the land for the aim of administration of the property of the temple.

“In the ownership column, the name of the deity alone is required to be mentioned, as the deity being a juristic person is the owner of the land. The occupation of the land is also by the deity which is carried out by the servant or the managers on behalf of the deity. Therefore, the name of the manager or that of the priest is not required to be mentioned in the column of occupier as well,” the highest court docket stated on Monday.

It added that the legislation is evident on the excellence that the pujari shouldn’t be a Kashtkar Mourushi, (tenant in cultivation) or a authorities lessee or an extraordinary tenant of the maufi lands (land exempted from cost of income) however holds such land on behalf of the Aukaf Division (referring to ‘Devasthan) for the aim of administration.

“The pujari is only a grantee to manage the property of the deity and such grant can be reassumed if the pujari fails to do the task assigned to him, i.e, to offer prayers and manage the land. He cannot be thus treated as a Bhumiswami,” the Bench stated.

“We don’t discover any mandate in any of the judgments to carry that the title of pujari or supervisor is required to be talked about within the income report, the Bench stated.

It stated that the title of the Collector as supervisor can’t be recorded in respect of property vested within the deity because the Collector can’t be a supervisor of all temples until it’s a temple vested with the State.

The apex court docket was listening to an attraction filed by Madhya Pradesh difficult an order of Excessive Courtroom which quashed two circulars issued by the State authorities below the M.P. Legislation Income Code, 1959 (Code).

These circulars ordered deletion of the names of pujari from the income report in order to guard the temple properties from unauthorised sale by the monks.

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