NEW DELHI, INDIA, July 2, 2016 (Prameya News7): The Supreme Court on Friday decided to intervene in an issue described by the Madras high court as "land of lords in trouble" and expressed concern over rampant encroachment, misuse and misappropriation of hundreds of thousands of acres of temple lands. Appearing for the petitioner, advocate K K Mani said Tamil Nadu was known for its temple culture and there were thousands of temples showcasing India's rich cultural heritage. "But most of them are gasping for survival as their incomes have steadily declined. Their properties were rented out decades ago for a pittance. There has been no revision of rent. Temple lands have been encroached upon," Mani said. The bench appeared to subscribe to the view expressed by Mani and issued notice to the commissioner, Hindu religious and charitable endowments department, Chennai.
HC judge Pushpa Sathyanarayana had said, "The lands of the Lords are in trouble! Even Gods and Lords are not spared. The temples in Tamil Nadu are historic symbols of Tamil history, and they are the properties of the community as a whole. But God's money is robbed by the notorious society. The tenants and encroachers are defrauding on rents for the temple land which are taken on lease and breaking of hundis, stealing temple jewels, the value of which are immeasurable and the lifting of antique metal icons to other countries are increasing day by day."
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