HYDERABAD: Rajya Sabha member and BJP leader Subramanian Swamy and a law student filed a PIL in the High Court here on Wednesday seeking the liberation of Sri Venkateswara Swamy temple at Tirumala, Sri Padmavati temple at Tiruchaanur near Tirupati and 11 other temples in Andhra Pradesh from the State government’s control.
He also sought audit of the accounts and properties, including jewellery, of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) for the past three financial years.
The petitioners, Swamy and Satya Paul Sabharwal, challenged the constitutional validity of Sections 15, 29, 96, 97, 97-A, 97-B, 106, 108, 109, 110 and 115 of the Andhra Pradesh Charitable and Hindu Religious Institutions and Endowments Act, 1987 by which the administration and control of Hindu religious institutions were taken over by the State government or by any authority functioning under it.
The TTD board was constituted by the government and all members, including the chairman, are appointed by it. Interference in the temple administration violates Article 31-A (1)(b) of the Constitution, they noted.
AP principal secretary to endowments, TTD executive officer, the ministry of law and justice and convener of Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha, New Delhi, were named as respondents.