Chennai: Madras High Court on Thursday quashed the show cause proceedings issued by Tamil Nadu Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department regarding take over the 2.83 acre of land belonging to Nithyananda Dhyanapeetam, owned by self-styled controversial godman Nithyananda, in Tiruvannamalai.
Justice K Chandru in his order said, "....The activity of the Nithyananda Dhyanapeetam cannot be considered to be a Hindu institution, so as to be covered by the provisions of the Tamil Nadu HR&CE Act."
Nithyananda Dhyanapeetam management had sought a direction to quash show cause notice by HR&CE Assistant Commissioner issued on October 11, 2012, which asked as to why the trust should not be brought under the direct control of the department.
He submitted that the 2.83 acre was donated by one B S Soundararajan of Vengikal village on April 3, 2008, as a gift in favour of Nithyananda.
After hearing arguments from both sides, the judge said, "The Dhyanapeetam is not a place of worship exclusively for the persons belonging to Hindu community or a section thereof."
Observing that the trust deed and the attainment of income tax exemption do not show that the place was intended to be created as a Hindu religious institution, the judge said, "The fact that some Hindu idols are found in the trust will not make it as an Hindu institution, since for the consecration, no Agamas were followed."
He said that mere presence of flag post will not make it a Hindu religious institution as it was stated that the flag of the Dhyanapeetam was made to fly on it throughout the year.
"In the light of the above factual matrix and the legal precedents, even if it was only a show cause notice, but as it was based upon a non-existent foundation, this court is constrained to interfere with it. Hence the writ petition will stand allowed. The impugned show cause notice stands set aside," the judge said.