Build Vallalar centre only after statutory nod: Madras HC to HR&CE

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has said the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) department can proceed with the construction of Vallalar International Centre at Vadalur in Cuddalore district only after obtaining the nod of statutory bodies concerned, including the Directorate of Town and Country Planning (DTCP).

A special bench of Justices R Mahadevan and PD Audikesavalu directed the department to complete the process of appointing trustees to the Vallalar Trust by June 24 and adjourned the matter to the same date. The court also issued a direction to remove all encroachments around the structures of Sathya Gnana Sabhai at Vadalur, which is spread over 106 acres, of which only 71 acres is with HR&CE.

Advocate N Suresh, appearing for one of the petitioners, S Vinoth Ragavendran, state secretary of spiritual and temple development wing of the BJP, submitted that the structure of the sabhai is an ancient monument and heritage structure falling under the control of the Archaeological Survey of India, and therefore, only the ASI can carry out developmental works on the premises and not the HR&CE.

He contended that the construction of the centre is against the principles of Vallalar, who had spoken against raising structures in Peruveli (open arena). The counsel questioned the absence of building plan approval from DTCP, which is mandatory for raising any structure.

Special govt pleader NRR Arun Natarajan admitted that the planning permission was not taken since the department commenced the construction as per an order issued for raising the centre at a cost of Rs 99.90 crore. He promised to submit the applications and obtain permission from the authorities concerned and then proceed with the construction, which was halted in view of the special sitting.

Pointing out that the Sabhai at Vadalur has historic significance, the bench felt the principles of the saint must be propagated across the globe. “We have lost the opportunity to popularise our saints only because our people did not propagate their ideals,” the bench noted. Stressing that frivolous petitions to stall the construction cannot be allowed, the bench said the proposed centre is aimed at promoting the preachings of Vallalar whose principles and philosophy should be spread across the globe.

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