The High Court on Wednesday asked the government whether help can be offered to the families of priests ‘Archaks’ (priests) in ‘C’ category temples across the state.
The bench asked the state whether it could supply ration kits as a one-time measure to the families facing difficulties due to the closure of temples during the lockdown.
The division bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Nataraj Rangaswamy asked the government advocate to explore ways to distribute ration kits. The petition was filed by K S N Dixit. The bench said that when advocates can get financial aid from the government, Archaks can also be considered for a similar relief.
During the hearing, the government informed the court that while Rs 32.52 crore has been released towards ‘Thasdik’ to the “C” grade temples, Rs 13.24 crore has already been paid to the temples. This apart, another aid of Rs 13.92 crore is in the process of being released from the treasury.
The petition stated that the government had not paid salaries to the Archaks and servants at 35,000 ‘C’ category temples. However, salaries were paid to the Archaks in `A’ and `B’ category temples. The petitioner challenged the discrimination and also contended that it was violation of Article 14 of the Constitution.