A writ petition has been filed in the Madras High Court challenging a government order issued on February 10, 2012, appointing P. Vijayakumar Reddy, son of industrialist Obul Reddy, as the Thakkar of the Kapaleeswarar temple at Mylapore. The Poonamallee Uyar Thuluva Vellala community association has filed he petition. Justice R. Mahadevan on Wednesday directed Special Government Pleader M. Maharaja to get instructions from the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department within two weeks. He ordered notices to the HRCE Commissioner as well as Mr. Reddy. The petitioner’s counsel was also permitted to take private notice.
According to the petitioner association, represented by its president A.C. Kandaswamy, Mylai Nattu Muthiappa Mudaliar, a member of their community, was the founder of Kapaleeswarar temple. It was a denominational temple belonging to the community though it was open to Saivites and other Hindus for worship. The right of nominating the temple trustees was with the family of the founder till 1876 when a scheme suit was filed in the High Court which in 1877 decreed the suit with an order that there should be two Dharmakarthas and one overseer for the temple. One of the Dharmakarthas should be appointed from among founder’s family members and the other from the community.
In 1948, the HRCE department attempted to assume certain jurisdiction over administration of the temple. Even then, the right of the community was recognised by stating that one of its members would be inducted as one of the trustees of the temple. However, subsequently, the community people were sidelined, the association alleged.