Today the Supreme Court bench consisting of Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice Surya Kant and Justice Bela Trivedi dismissed a plea by Andhra Pradesh BJP leader G Bhanu Prakash Reddy which challenged the establishment of new collectorate at Padmavathi Nilayam, a guest house which is owned by the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam.
Mr. Reddy had approached the single judge of the Andhra Pradesh High Court and filed a writ petition on the ground that Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam resolved to hand over the property to the government without any determination to the effect as to whether the same is in the interest of the deity and the devotees showing clear non-application of mind.
Mr. Reddy further contended that the action of approached the Supreme Court by way of a writ petition on the ground that the High Court division bench failed to appreciate the fact that the interim protection was for a limited period of time and that he has a prima facie case and even the balance of convenience in his favour.
Advocate D. Seshadri Naidu, who was briefed by Amit Pai, Advocate on Record, appearing for Reddy, submitted that the order of the government and the subsequent action of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam is contrary to Section 23 of the Andhra Pradesh Charitable and Hindu Religious Institution and Endowments Act, 1987 which states that the trustee of every religious institution or endowment is to administer its affairs, manage its properties and apply its funds in accordance with terms of the trust for the usage of the institution or endowment and all lawful directions which competent authority may issue.
Further he submitted that the decision to lease the land of the trust and complex thereon has been made in the absence of any prior sanction of the government as required under Section 75 of the Act. Also, he argued that the procedure as adopted by the respondents also violates Section 111(4) of the Act which lays down the purposes for which funds of TTD can be utilized. It was argued that TTD had taken the decision without considering the plight of the devotees.
On hearing the submissions, the Court refused to interfere with the order of the High Court and dismissed the SLP.
The Case title is G.Bhanu Prakash Reddy Vs District Collector, Chittoor.