The Hyderabad High Court on Tuesday ordered notices to Telangana on a writ petition filed by activists challenging the offerings of gold ornaments to temples by Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao.
A division bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Ramesh Ranganathan and Justice Shameem Akhter ordered notices on the petitions by Dalit activist Kancha Ilaiah and social activist G. Ramulu.
They contended that the offerings made to various temples at the expense of the Common Good Fund were unconstitutional. They pleaded that the money be recovered from the Chief Minister.
Speaking to The News Minute earlier, Kancha Ilaiah had argued that this move, was not only 'morally wrong', but also 'unconstitutional'.
"Our Constitution does not allow it. The preamble itself mentions that India is a secular country, and this kind of direct spending by the government on a religious cause, is a direct violation of the principle of secularism, that the country was founded upon," he had said.
Advocate General K. Ramakrishna Reddy sought four weeks time for the government to file counter to the notices.
Last month, the Chief Minister along with his family members, ministers and officials had visited Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh and offered gold ornaments worth Rs 5.59 crore at the Sri Venkateshwara and Padmavati temples.
He also visited Veerabhadra Swamy temple in Mahbubabad district of Telangana and offered a golden moustache.
Last year, he had gifted a 12 kg gold crown worth Rs 3.5 crore to Bhadrakali temple in Warangal.
All these offerings to various gods and goddesses were made to fulfil the vow he had taken during the movement for separate Telangana state.