Madras High Court Slams Authority for their “Callous Authority” towards temple land which is getting used to bury dead bodies

Madras High Court

In this case a plea was filed against temple authority for unauthorized burial of dead bodies in parking space of the temple. The court said that “At the same time, it cannot be allowed to bury dead bodies in the land belonging to the temple. This court has time and again retierated that the lands belonging to the temples are used only for religious purposes and the activities connected therein”. The case was SP Narayanan V/S District Collector, Thoothukudi [(Mad) 485 (2022)] [W.P.(MD) No.8310 of 2018 & W.M.P.(MD)No7866 of 2018; 25.11.2022]. This case was presided by Mr. Justice R Mahadevan & Mr. Justice J Sathya Narayanan Prasad.   

Facts of the case

  • The petition was filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India to issue writ of Mandamus. The case was filed by SP Narayanan who sells hats in the pathway of Arulmign Subramaniya Swamy temple at Thiruchendur. According to petitioner the temple land which was used for parking earlier used for parking is now getting use to bury bodies.
  • The petitioner submitted that land measuring around 30 acres, which was earlier used by temple devotees for parking purpose and to take rest, is being used for burial and other illegal activites in the night time. Thogh the representation was sent in 2017 to the collector office but no action was taken at that time.
  • The executive officer of the temple submitted to the court that a communication regarding this has already been sent to the Revenue Divisional Officer to prevent third parties from the burial of the bodies. They also requested to allot alternative land for that purpose.



In this case the court said that though it is right to be cremated or buried is an essential part of the fundamental right but the same cannot be allowed on the land belonging to the temple.

The court said that it is obvious that devotees will come to the temple for darshan and if the adequate necessities will also be not provided to them then it will not be for with them. They must get the basic necessities after so much of Hardships. The court directed the respondents to consider the plea of  petitioner and take actions within 3 months.

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