New Delhi, May 4 (UNI) The Supreme Court has appointed a retired apex court Judge Mr Justice K S Paripoornan as the appropriate authority for condcuting elections to the board of trustees of Shree Narayana Guru Dharama Sanghom at Siva Giri Mutt, Varkala in Kerala.
Shree Narayana Guru was a great social reformer and saint of Kerala who fought for social reforms, eradication of caste, untouchability, religious fanaticism, and to usher in universal brotherhood.
A bench comprising Mr Justice A R Lakshmanan and Mr Justice R V Raveendran vide judgement dated May 2 directed that the appropriate authority shall complete the process for holding elections to elect the trust board within four months.
The government of Kerala brought in an ordinance to take over the Mutt in 1997. The ordinance was replaced by Shivogiri Mutt (emergency provisions) at 1997. Section three of the act provided for the vesting of the management of the trust in the government for a period of two years from October 9, 1997.
The government was empowered to retain the management for a total period of five years. The validity of the act was challenged by the appellants Swami Prakasananda and another in the Kerala High Court. The High Court vide impugned judgement dated August 10, 2001 upheld the validity of the act.
Appellants filed the present appeals in the Supreme Court against the High Court order.
The state government conducted the elections to the trust board on October 11, 2001 as per the High Court order and 11 trustees were elected for a term of five years.
The appellents were mainly aggrieved by the expulsion of 18 Sanyasins who were duly enrolled members of the trust, coupled with the removal of six original members of the trust.
The Supreme Court has decided not to examine the validity of the impugned act.
The state government has been directed to hand over the management to the newly elected trust board under the supervision of Justice K S Paripoornan.
The Supreme Court described the infighting among the members and desciples of the great guru as unfortunate.
UNI AKS/ SC SI RS2252