The Andhra Pradesh High Court put a stay on the State Government’s orders appointing 52 special invitees to the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) trust board, apart from 24 regular trustee members. The high court’s order was in response to a batch of public interest litigation (PIL) filed on this Monday, challenging the appointment of special invitees to the TTD trust board.
Imposing a stay on two government orders (G.O. Rt. No. 568,569), the High Court questioned the propriety of creating such a jumbo trust board. The counsel of the State Government defended the move — stating that the appointment of special invitees was done only as per the norms and there was no violation of any rules.
However, the High Court issued interim orders suspending the two GOs for a period of 4 weeks, pending completion of hearing and passage of final orders. It may be recalled that three PILs have been filed in the High Court challenging the GOs issued by the State to constitute the TTD trust board.
BJP leader G. Bhanuprakash Reddy filed a petition challenging the GO. MS. 245 issued by the government to appoint 28 members to the trust board, GO. Rt. No. 568 appointing 2 members as ex-officio and special invitees and GO. Rt. No. 569 appointing 50 others as special invitees. Telugu Desam leader M. Umamaheswara Naidu and Hindu Jansakhati Samkshema Sangham founder K. Lalit Kumar also filed similar PILs before the High Court.
Seeking the cancellation of the said GOs, the petitioners appealed to the High Court to issue interim orders to this effect. They said that the above GOs were illegal, arbitrary and also contrary to the section 96 of Andhra Pradesh Charitable and Hindu Religious Institutions and Endowments Acts, 1987, and also in violation of Article 25 of the constitution of India.
The petitioners also said the constitution of such a jumbo trust board will be an additional burden on TTD and would cause hardships and hurdles to common pilgrims to have darshan at Tirumala temple.