The Kodagu deluge is one of the worst calamities to hit Karnataka in the recent decades. With 18 deaths and initial estimate of losses pegged to be around 3,000 crore rupees it is one of the worst disasters to hit the state. Although many people pitched in and helped pool in funds to help the flood survivors, the Karnataka government had a tough time providing compensation.
Temple funds transferred to CM's disaster relief fund
The Karnataka government is now in a legal soup for transferring funds from several temples to the Chief Minister's disaster relief fund during the Kodagu floods by allegedly violating norms. The matter came up before the Karnataka High Court on Monday after two petitioners filed a writ petition.
The top court in the state questioned the government and sought an explanation from it to clarify on two things. One, under what provisions of the law did it take this decision and two why were the funds transferred from institutions belonging to a particular religion. The court has given time till November 26th to submit its reply.
The petitioners argue that the government has flouted the ruled under the Karnataka Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments Act 1997. Republic tv has accessed the circular issued by the Karnataka Muzrai ministry to temples in the state. A list of temples and the funds that were transferred have also been mentioned. The contributions runs into crores of rupees.
Legal counsel to the petitioners, Pavan Chandra Shetty said, "This is an arbitrary decision. The government of Karnataka has clearly ordered temples to contribute to the disaster relief fund. This is a clear violation and this is not the reason why devotees donate to temples. The government could have asked people to contribute but this is unfair. They've not approached churches, mosques or other religious institutions."
BJP spokesperson Anwar Manipaddy said it is unfair. "Why did they ask only temples to contribute to the CM's disaster relief funds? This is unfair. If the government wanted funds they must have asked churches and mosques to take make contribution as well".
The government is expected to issue a clarification to the Karnataka on the matter on Wednesday. But if the legal battle continues this will give more ammo for the opposition to attack the HD Kumaraswamy government ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.