Devaswom Having Interest in the Temple, Scheduled Castes, Temple

An Act to make provision for the proper administration of the Guruvayoor Devaswom
Preamble.— Whereas the Sree Krishna temple at Guruvayoor is a very ancient temple
of unique importance which owns extensive properties and endowments and in which
millions of devotees from all over India are reposing their faith and belief;
And whereas under the scheme framed by the High Court of Madras in Appeals
Nos.211 and 212 of 1930, for the administration of the said Temple, as modified by the
District Court, South Malabar, in O.S. No.I of 1938, the administration, control and
management of the temple and its properties and endowments had been vested in the
hereditary trustees, namely, the Zamorin Raja of Calicut and the Karanavan for the time
being of the Mallisseri Illom at Guruvayoor;
And whereas the administration and management of the said Temple and its properties
and endowments had deteriorated and a situation had arisen rendering it expedient to
reorganize, in the interests of the general public, the scheme of Management of the affairs
of the Devaswom, the Guruvayoor Devaswom Act, 1971, was enacted to provide better
management of the Devaswom in supersession of the said scheme;
And whereas the High court of Kerala in its judgement in Original Petition No. 314
of 1973 struck down the operative provisions of the said Act on the ground that those
provisions are violative of Articles 25 and 26 of the Constitution of India;
And whereas it is apprehended that if the administration, control and management of
the Temple and its properties and endowments are vested in the hereditary trustees, the
same situation which had rendered it expedient to reorganise the scheme of management
of the affairs of the Devaswom and to enact the said Act is likely to arise;
And whereas it is expedient to provide in the public interest and in the interest of the
worshippers of the Temple for a proper administration of the said Devaswom in
accordance with the law as laid down in the said judgement;
Be it enacted in the Twenty ninth Year of the Republic of India as follows: –
Chapter I
1. Short title and commencement. – (1) This Act may be called the Guruvayoor
Devaswom Act, 1978. (2) It shall be deemed to have come into force on the 29 th day of November, 1977.
2. Definitions. – In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,—
(a) “Administrator” means the Administrator appointed under section 14;
(b) “Commissioner” means an officer not below the rank of Secretary to
Government, who professes the Hindu Religion and believes in Temple worship,
appointed by the Government, by notification in the Gazette, to be the Commissioner for
the purposes of this Act;
(c) “Committee” means the Guruvayoor Devaswom Managing Committee
constituted under section 3;
(d) “Court” means the District Court having jurisdiction over the area in which the
Temple is situated;
(e) “Devaswom” means the Temple , and includes its properties and endowments and
the subordinate Temples attached to it;
(f) “person having interest in the Temple” means a person who is entitled to attend
at, or is in the habit of attending, the performance of worship or service in the Temple or
who is entitled to partake, or is in the habit of partaking, in the benefit of the distribution
of gifts thereat;
(g) “prescribed” means prescribed by rules made under this Act;
(h) the expressions “Scheduled Castes” and “Scheduled Tribes” shall have the
meanings respectively assigned to them in the Constitution of India;
(i) “ Temple ” means the Sree Krishna Temple at Guruvayoor..

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