Justices K Kalyanasundaram and T Krishnavalli passed the interim order while hearing the appeal preferred by the EO/fit person who sought to set aside the order of the single judge’s order dated September 22.


Madras HC stays order of single judge who quashed tender notification issued by Palani temple authorities
Kaushik Kannan | Sep 25, 2020, 20:44 IST

MADURAI: The Madras high court on Friday stayed the order of a single judge who quashed the tender notification issued by an executive officer (EO)/fit person for housekeeping work at Dhandayuthapani Swamy Temple in Palani.

A division bench of Justices K Kalyanasundaram and T Krishnavalli passed the interim order while hearing the appeal preferred by the EO/fit person who sought to set aside the order of the single judge’s order dated September 22.
In the appeal petition, the appellant EO/fit person stated that the petitioner who had filed the writ petition did not have any locus standi to challenge the tender notification which was issued by the temple since he was not a contractor.
It was stated that EO was empowered to float tender notification. The appointment of EO or fit person was not the subject matter of the writ petition. No law restricted the period of fit persons appointed till the constitution of board of trustees. It was stated that no such boards were constituted for any temples in the state. There was no provision that bars the appointment of EO as a fit person.
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Since the above grounds were not taken into consideration, the appellant moved the HC Madurai bench seeking to set aside the order of the single judge and also sought to grant interim stay to the order.
In the writ petition filed by T R Ramesh, the single judge had quashed the tender notification citing that the functioning of the executive officer also as the ex-officio fit person for several years can only be characterised as subversion of the statutory scheme.
The single judge observed that the appointment of a fit person is for a temporary period to tide over certain difficulties or contingencies and it is in the nature of an interim measure.

Since the tender notification had been issued by an official who is standing on thin ice, the single judge observed that a fit person could not issue a notification of this nature and hence quashed the notification. The single judge also asked the state government to take steps to constitute a board of trustees for Palani temple as early as possible since the same was not constituted for over nine years.

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