High Court stays appointment of 4 trustees of Vajreshwari temple trust
Mumbai: Hearing a petition, the Bombay High Court has temporarily stayed appointment of four trustees of Shree Vajreshwari Yoginidevi Sansthan, a prominent temple trust in nearby Thane district which has properties worth several crores of rupees.
The order, granting a stay on the appointment of these trustees, was delivered by Justice R V More in view of allegations made in the petition that the respondents were interested in the properties of the trust in question.
“In view of these submissions (alleging that the respondents were interested in properties of the trust), notice is being issued to the respondents, returnable on January 20,” the judge noted in his order on December 21.
Till the next date, the impugned order about the appointment of respondents is stayed, the judge further said.
The four trustees of the temple trust, namely Kalpesh Patil (33), Avinash Raut(30), Manoj Pradhan(41), and Jeevan Vasudev Patgaonkar(60), were appointed by an order issued by Principal District Judge K K Sonawane on December 9, 2013.
They were selected from among 80 aspirants which included advocates, doctors, chartered accountants, architects, educationists and engineers.
The appointment of the trustees was challenged by three persons Parasram Sawant, Jagannath Patil and Rajaram Patil who aspired to be trustees and were not selected.
In the petition, they challenged the selection procedure of trustees alleging that only those who have political affiliations and vested interests in the properties of the trust were being appointed as trustees.
The petition alleged that the principal district judge had not followed the procedure prescribed for the appointment of trustees and that the method employed by him was improper.
Besides, some of the trustees appointed had criminal antecedents, the petitioners alleged and urged the High Court to call for the records to verify this aspect.
The petition said the judge had erred in saying that no guidelines were laid down for appointment of trustees. In fact, the petition said, guidelines had been laid down by an order of the High Court dated July 31, 2006 in a petition suggesting that qualities for a trustee were clean record, educational qualifications and past experience.