In a significant judgement which could curb misuse of temple funds, the Himachal Pradesh High Court today ruled “the temple trust shall not spend any money by way of advertisements in any souvenir”.

The order was passed by a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Dharam Chand Chaudhary on a letter, which the court treated as a PIL, by one Rajnish Khosala.

The letter said an amount of Rs one lakh had been spent from Baba Balak Nath Temple Trust Fund for an advertisement in the souvenir published by the Himachal Tourism in connection with Hamir Utsav in 2009.

The Bench directed the state Chief Secretary and the Chief Commissioner (Temples) to issue appropriate directions to all Commissioners that “God’s money shall not be spent for advertisements in souvenirs“.

In its reply, the Temple Trust stated in an affidavit that the amount was sent along with the souvenir material at the request of the Deputy Commissioner.

Disposing of the PIL, the Court said “having gone through the material and as has been rightly perceived by all concerned in the court the God’s money is not to be spent for advertisement about the temple or its activities.”

“Though, there are other allegations as well with regard to the management of trust fund, we do not think it necessary to go into those aspects since there are other writ petitions pertaining to those issues,” the Bench said.

(This article was published on November 6, 2012)
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