HC Decries Delay: Temples Forced to Seek Court Intervention for Dues from U.P. Govt

Allahabad High Court, Brindavan

A petition filed in the Allahabad High Court has highlighted a concerning issue regarding the withholding of annuities owed to nine temples located in Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh. The District Magistrate and Senior Treasury Officer of Mathura have allegedly withheld these payments for the past four years. In response, the High Court expressed dismay, emphasizing that it is regrettable that temples and trusts are compelled to resort to legal avenues to obtain their rightful dues from the Uttar Pradesh government.

During the hearing presided over by Justice Rohit Ranjan Agarwal, the court addressed a petition brought forth by Thakur Rangji Maharaj Virajman Mandir, a temple established in 1851 AD. The temple sought the court’s intervention to secure its annuity payment under Section 99 of the U.P. Zamindari Abolition (UPZA) and Land Reforms (LR) Act.

According to the petitioner, an amount totaling ₹9,125,07 meant for nine temples had not been disbursed due to the Board of Revenue’s failure to grant permission. However, the government countered this claim, asserting that ₹2,23,199 had already been disbursed, leaving a balance of ₹6,89,308.

In a personal affidavit, the Commissioner/Secretary of the Board of Revenue explained that a shortfall in funds prevented the release of over ₹6 lakh to the temples.

Expressing dismay over the situation, the court remarked on the necessity for temples and trusts to resort to legal recourse for obtaining payments that should have been automatically disbursed by the state government. It also criticized the lack of initiative by concerned officials over the past four years in facilitating the transfer of annuities to the temples.

Observing a letter from the District Magistrate of Mathura to the Special Secretary of the Government of U.P. in Lucknow, the court noted a disregard for the release of annuities to trusts and temples by officials in the state capital.

Summoning the Secretary of the Board of Revenue for an explanation, the court instructed the Registrar (Compliance) to promptly share the order with the Chief Secretary of the Government of U.P., who would then present the matter to the Chief Minister for necessary action. The court scheduled the next hearing for March 20.

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