Over the last six months, Mylapore resident and temple activist T R Ramesh has sought statutory information from the Sri Kapali Temple authorities through the RTI Act.
However, he has not received a single response from the temple, he says.
He told Mylapore Times that there are a number of items that have to be made available voluntary by every public authority such as publishing all relevant facts while formulating important policies or announcing the decisions which affect public and also maintain all its records duly catalogues and indexed in a manner and form which facilitates the right to information under this Act.”
” I have a reasonable apprehension that the reasons for not responding seem to be to hide corruption and/or unlawful transfer of funds of the temple and misuse of the temple properties for unauthorised purposes and without following the due process of law laid down in the TN HR & CE Act”, he said.
In December 2022, through the RTI Act, Ramesh asked for a copy of the budgetsapproved for Kapali Temple by an appropriate authority under the TN HR&CE Act, 1959 for the last three years, the repair and renovation of the buildings connected with the temple, copy of the Trustee proposals for purposes of Transfer of the temple’s funds towards common good fund and copies of the proceedings of the Commissioner made under the utilisation of surplus funds
On March 30 this year, he wrote to R Hariharan, the EO of the temple asking for audit report, trustee or “Fit Person” resolutions, bills and vouchers for monies spent for the purposes of HR & CE Department or Office of the Commissioner and expenses relating to the cars of the temple, saying that these were public documents that had to be shared with the public.
Also, in March, he asked for current details of rental defaulters of temple lands submitting to them details of defaulters from earlier years.
Ramesh says he once again wrote to the officer last month requesting him to remove the person working as superintendent on ‘foreign service’ in this temple as the Act provides that the moment the trustees are appointed, followed by the process of appointment of office- holders and servants by the trustees, the government employees deputed to temples would be reverted to their parent departments.
With no positive response forthcoming from the authorities, Ramesh said that he would soon file a writ petition in the Madras High Court against the EO and the Public Information Officer of the temple.
– Report by S. Prabhu