The Supreme Court | Photo: Mathrubhumi
Thiruvananthapuram: Guruvayur Devaswom Board has approached the Supreme Court (SC) against the Kerala High Court (HC) order which says the Board cannot donate money to Chief Minister Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF). The standing counsel ML Jishnu has filed a petition on behalf of the Board.
The Board is of the stance that it is legal to donate money to CMDRF. According to the Board, the donation was also based on the wish of the devotees. In the petition filed with the SC, the Board has pointed out that there is no wrong in giving funds for needs other than those related to operations of temples.
During floods and the Covid-19 period, the Board had contributed a total of Rs 10 cr to CMDRF. However, the Full Bench of Kerala High Court cited stated that donating CMDRF does not come under the operational ambit of the Board. The Bench cited Section 27 of Guruvayur Devaswom rules and said the Board cannot allocate money to the disaster relief fund.
The Bench was of the stance that Guruvayurappan (deity) has the ownership of assets and incomes of the Guruvayur Temple and the Board as a trustee is only entitled to maintain it. Meanwhile, the Board in its petition now has claimed that it has the right to donate.
Notably, the state government has not appealed against the December 2020 verdict of the HC. The Board has approached the SC after detailed legal consultation.