Only A Hindu Can Be Made Devaswom Commissioner, Rules Kerala High Court
The directive was issued by a bench of Justices PR Ramachandra Menon and Devan Ramachandran, while disposing of a batch of petitions challenging the amendments to the Travancore-Cochin Hindu Religious Institutions Act 1950 (TCHRI Act), which enabled the appointment of a non-Hindu as the Commissioner of the Devaswom Boards.
“The court is fully justified in declaring that the post of Devaswom Commissioner, under the TCHRI Act, and under the rigour of Section 29(1), will be such an officer who will always have to be a person professing the Hindu religion. It is so declared,” the court said in its judgement.
The petition was filed by the BJP state president, PS Sreedharan Pillai. An amendment introduced by the communist government earlier stated that an additional secretary or joint secretary to the government could be appointed as the commissioner. However, the petitioner held that the two clauses opened up the possibility of a non-Hindu becoming Devaswom commissioner.