Madras High Court’s Interim Order: BJP MLAs Directed to Return Allegedly Illegally Acquired Temple Land

The Madras High Court has issued an interim order instructing two Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLAs from Puducherry and their family members to return a temple property that they were accused of obtaining illegally. The BJP legislators, A John Kumar and his son Vivilian Richards John Kumar, were alleged to have secured ownership of land belonging to the Kamatchiamman Temple in Puducherry through fraudulent means. The temple trust claimed ownership of the land dating back to 1935 and had been in continuous possession for over 80 years.

The court, while hearing the case, directed the MLAs and their family members to return the land until the investigation is completed to determine the rightful owners. It was alleged that government officials in the Puducherry administration were involved in the land-grabbing scheme.

The court found “shocking revelations” in the investigation reports regarding the fraudulent documents and the actions of government officials. The accused MLAs asserted their innocence and stated they were willing to return the land if the temple authorities could prove ownership. However, the court ordered the Puducherry administration to take possession of the temple land and return it to the temple administration.

Justice SM Subramaniam emphasized that public representatives, such as the accused MLAs, should be truthful and trustworthy servants of the people. They are constitutionally obligated to represent the interests of their constituents and uphold the principles of law. Therefore, the court directed the MLAs to cooperate with the ongoing probe conducted by the Puducherry CB-CID. The case will be listed for further proceedings after six weeks following the completion of the investigation.

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