Reported By: Salil Tiwari
Last Updated: June 08, 2023, 13:48 IST
The Karnataka High Court recently observed that in order to claim the post of heraditary archak (temple priest), the line of succession should be on the paternal side and not on the maternal side.
The single judge bench of Justice NS Sanjay Gowda observed so while dealing with pleas moved by two sons of a former archak of Sri Mahabaleshwara Swamy Temple at KR Puram, Bangalore East Taluk.
It was the petitioners claim that they were entitled to be appointed as archaks since the archakship of the temple was hereditary.
The petitioners had essentially challenged an order passed in the year 2016 by the Commissioner for Religious and Endowment Department rejecting one of the petitioner’s request to be appointed as archak of the temple.
The commissioner had then recorded a finding that before the father of the petitioner, his father-in-law was the archak of the temple, and since the archakship of the temple was traceable only towards maternal side of the petitioners, they were not entitled for a claim of hereditary archakship.
Challenging the same, the counsel for the petitioners submitted before the high court that not only the petitioners were entitled to be appointed as the archak of the temple, but also they were not given an adequate opportunity at the time of deciding their representation to establish their right to archakship.
However, the single judge bench noted that the impugned order showed that the petitioners were heard in the matter.
The court further highlighted that it was not a disputed fact in the present matter that in order to claim hereditary archakship at the Sri Mahabaleshwaraswamy Temple, it was necessary that not only the father of the applicant but also the grandfather and great-grandfather should have performed the role of archak of the temple.
The court noted that it was on record that before the father of the petitioners, it was their maternal grandfather who was the archak of the temple.
Therefore, while pointing out that the petitioners were claiming the archakship by virtue of their maternal grandfather being the archak of the temple, the court dismissed their pleas.