God's money not for advertisement: Court

SHIMLA - Himachal Pradesh High court has told the district administration of Hamripur clearly that 'God's money is not to be spent for advertisement purposes'. 

A division bench of the High Courtcomprising Chief Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Dharam Chand Chaudhary passed the order on a suo-motu action against the Chairman, Baba Balak Nath Temple Trust, Deotsidh and DeputyCommissioner Hamirpur and others. 

'Having gone through the material and as has been rightly perceived by all concerned in the court, God's money is not to be spent for advertisement about the temple or its activities', the court said in its order yesterday, a copy of which was released to the media here today. 

The court registered a writ petition against the temple trust and District Collector taking 'suo motu' action on the basis of a letter written by one Rajnish Khosla bringing to its notice that a sum of Rs one lakh had been spent from the trust fund for an advertisement in the souvenir published by the Himachal Tourism in connection with the Hamir Utsav celebrated in the year 2009. 

The temple trust authorities defended its action saying that the amount was sent along with the souvenir material at the request of the Deputy Commissioner after producing the advertisement material appearing in the souvenir. The court directed the Chief Secretary of Himachal Pradesh and Chief Commissioner of Temples in the state making it clear that the temple trust should not spend any money by way of any advertisement in any souvenir. It also directed the Chief Secretary to the State of Himachal Pradesh and Chief Commissioner (Temples) to issue appropriate directions to all the Commissioners that God's money shall not be spent for advertisements in souvenirs.

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