Madurai: A retired temple `archaka` has filed a PIL in the Madras High Court Bench here seeking to declare all temple workers including priests as government employees and provide them service benefits, such as pension.
A Division Bench of Justice Jayachandran and Justice P Venugopal ordered issue of notice to officials including the Secretary, Endowment Department and Commissioner, returnable in two weeks.
The petitioner, G Seenivasan, former president of the Tamil Nadu Temple Employees Association, and a retired archaka, submitted that government had categorised temple workers by taking into account income of the temple and fixed salaries as per its income.
Those who were working in rich temple got better pay than those who worked in poor temples. This was discriminatory, the petitioner contended.
He said the income of all the temples should be pooled to provide salary and pension to the employees.
A lower court had already ordered that the temple workers should be treated as government servants.
Most retired temple workers were getting very meagre pension. Though representations had been sent to treat the temple employees on par with the government employees, no step had been taken, the petitioner claimed.