The Hyderabad High Court on Wednesday ordered the Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanams (TTD) against terminating Christian and Muslim employees on the ground that they were non-Hindus.
The court said that the employees could continue to work at the Hindu temple, until further orders.
Earlier this month, the employees had moved the High Court, challenging the guidelines of one of the richest religious bodies in the world, after they were issued 'show-cause' notices.
"We will adjudicate the matter and find out why this sudden posture by authorities when they have not made any mention about such rules when recruiting these employees two decades ago. If there are such rules, then we will verify the constitutional validity of such rules," the bench had said at the time.
Even as the court said that the TTD could not terminate the non-Hindu employees, it also asked the petitioners to furnish proper replies to the TTD for the notices that they received.
Last month, it was reported that the non-Hindus who were working with the TTD were expected to be shifted to other departments of the Andhra Pradesh state government, for violating the rules.
Speaking to reporters, TTD Executive Officer Anil Kumar Singhal, said, “As per our guidelines in tune with GOs issued in 1989 and 2007, non-Hindus will not be recruited either in teaching or non-teaching categories of TTD. We have identified 44 people who got appointed in the TTD against the guidelines since 1989. Majority of them are employed under the compassionate ground category. We are now contemplating sending them to other State government departments.”
The controversy of TTD employees practicing other faith triggered off, following the viral video of a TTD official, later identified as Deputy Executive Officer of TTD, Sneha Latha, who was accused of visiting church every Sunday in the official car belonging to TTD.
An internal probe was initiated into the incident following which Vigilance and enforcement head Ake Ravi Krishna submitted the report.