The son of a late pontiff of a 300-year-old ashram in Tiruchirapallil district has moved the Madras High court bench here, seeking intervention of Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment Board to stop the alleged bid to take over the head post by an unqualified person.
Justices K K Sasidharan and B Gokuldass, who heard the PIL by R Ramabadhran, son of the deceased 9th pontiff of Srimad Andavan Poundarikapuram Swamy Ashramam, issued notice to the Assistant Commissioner of HR&CE to reply within two weeks.
The petitioner alleged a bid to take over the leadership of the ashram by an unqualified person, in connivance with a top police official and one V Navaneethakrishnan.
He submitted that the 9th pontiff of the ashram, with branches at Tiruneermalai and Bangalore, had executed an unregistered will in respect of its administration and also a successor for it.
He had indicated that either Anantha Narasimhachariar, who had been functioning as Sri Karyam (Chief Administrator), or his brother could be the successor. In the event of anyone else being chosen as the next pontiff, it was necessary to secure the consent of the Sri Karyam.
However, three disciples had proclaimed themselves to be members of the administrative committee and announced that one Paravakottai Rajagopalachariar, a non-scholar, would be the next pontiff, the petitioner submitted.
Even as Sri Karyam was making arrangements to nominate a successor, the trio had illegally appointed a person, he said.
As per custom and tradition, the Srikaryam would convene the general body of the disciples and finalise the choice of the successor, he pointed out.
The petitioner prayed for a direction from the court to the Assistant Commissioner of HR&CE to protect the ashram and prevent it from being ‘taken over’ by Rajagopalachariar.
( Source – PTI )