Founder of Isha calls for external audit of temples

Jagadish Vasudev claimed that the situation prevailing in these temples may not be up to expected standards.

Founder of the Isha Foundation, Jagadish Vasudev, moved Madurai High Court to Madras High Court to ask the state to conduct an external audit of temples under the Department of Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments.

A division bench of Justices Pushpa Sathyanarayana and P. Velmurugan requested a state response to the petition which called for an external audit of more than 44,000 temples to verify their current status.

The petitioner stated that the status of temple structures, lands, properties, possession and occupation of temple properties, rents collected and dues, other assets such as temple chariots, rituals and spiritual practices associated with temples had to be verified.

Apart from this, funds received from the public, donations, fees and expenditure status of these funds also had to be verified.

The petitioner claimed that the situation prevailing in these temples might not be up to the expected standards.

There was a need for the temples to be properly maintained in order for the spiritual process and rituals to be performed for people to experience the purpose for which these temples were dedicated, the petitioner said.

He also asked for a directive to set up a commission comprising eminent persons and experts to examine the devolution of the temples to the community. The court adjourned the hearing for four weeks.

Shirlene J. Manley