New Delhi: In a huge relief to thousands of small traders who had set up shops in the premises of several temples situated in various places in Tamil Nadu, the Supreme Court on Monday set aside the eviction notice issued to these shops asking them to vacate.
A Bench of Justices Abhay Manohar Sapre and Dinesh Maheswari agreed with the contention of the appellants that they have been doing their business either as licensee or/and with the permission of the Temple Authorities for a number of years and they cannot be evicted without following the due process of law.
The Bench said, “In our considered opinion, the issue raised in these appeals is governed by the provisions of the Tamil Nadu Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Act, 1959 which deals with the cases of encroachment on the land belonging to religious institutions. Having heard the learned counsel for the parties and on perusal of the record of the case, we are inclined to allow these appeals and set aside the impugned order.”
The bench said it is not in dispute that the action taken by the respondents to evict the small traders was not in accordance with the provisions of this Act. “It is for this reason, we are inclined to allow these appeals, set aside the impugned order and grant liberty to the respondents to take recourse to the remedies provided to them against the appellants individually in relation to the controversy raised by them in these proceedings” the bench added....