More staff appointed by Shri Siddhivinayak Mandir Trust than sanctioned by the Govt. – New scam exposed !
The Government is unable to prevent scams in temples already taken over by it; then what moral right does it have to take over more temples ? – Advocate Virendra Ichalkaranjikar, national President, Hindu Vidhidnya Parishad
It is shameful for BJP Government that Hindu Vidhidnya Parishad (HVP) has to take up its duties!
Mumbai : The former trustees of Shri Siddhivinayak Mandir appointed more number of staff sanctioned by the Government and are spending lot of money on salaries of such persons out of donations made by devotees at this shrine and thus, regularly looting temple’s funds. Serious complaints have been lodged by Shri Siddhivinayak Temple’s trustees against Sanjiv Patil, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) but no action has been taken by the Government. The Government has not been able to manage temples already taken over by it, then why is it bent upon taking over more temples ? The above question was asked by advocate Virendra Ichalkaranjikar, the National President of HVP during a press conference held on 13th July at Mumbai Marathi Patrakar Sangh. Advocate Ichalkaranjikar has obtained information under ‘Right to Information (RTI)’ Act which has exposed this matter. Dr. Uday Dhuri, Mumbai spokesperson of Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS) and Dr. Upendra Dahake, Vice President of BJP for Kalyan city shared the dais with adv. Ichalkaranjikar.
A complaint was lodged by advocate Ichalkaranjikar with Law and Justice Department of the Government against former trustees of Shri Siddhivinayak Mandir Trust for misappropriation of money offered by devotees at this temple. Based on his complaint, Law and Justice Department has issued order for appointment of an officer of the level of Joint Secretary, for conducting in-depth inquiry into this issue. In the meanwhile, however, more and more irregularities of Shri Siddhivinayak Mandir Trust are getting exposed; a list of which was submitted by advocate Ichalkaranjikar on this occasion.
Management of Govt. is management of scamsters ! – Dr. Upendra Dahake
Every temple taken over by the Government is involved in some scam or the other and one wonders whether there is Government’s management or management by scamsters ?
Govt. committing sin of taking over temples, only to fill in its empty coffers ! – Dr. Uday Dhuri
Investigations of ‘Pashchim Maharashtra Devasthan Vyavasthapan Samiti (PMDVS)’, which is managing 3067 temples, are already underway through CID. Scams in temple management at Tuljapur, Pandharpur, Shirdi, Kolhapur etc have crossed all limits. We have lodged numerous complaints against these scams; submitted representations with proofs; staged many agitations; still the Government does not seem to do anything; but it is all set to take over Shri Shanaishwar Mandir of ShaniShinganapur and Shri Mumbadevi Temple of Mumbai. Is the Government committing such sin of taking over temples to fill in its empty coffers and for benefit of its party workers ? Why is the Government so eager to take over temples ?
Irregularity in appointment of staff in this Devasthan
1. In terms of the Government’s order dated 4th August 2009 and Shri Siddhivinayak Ganapati Mandir Trust Managament (Prabhadevi) Act 1980, the Government has allowed appointment of 88 staff members for working at Shri Siddhivinayak Devasthan; but presently, there are 200 employees working with this Devasthan.
Table showing sanctioned manpower by the Govt. for Shri Siddhivinayak Mandir Trust and currently working manpower is given below.
2. Devasthan has appointed additional 112 employees in different categories without taking Government’s approval. One cannot give excuse of increase in work for increase in manpower in this case. Why has then the increase of manpower more than doubled when there is no change in Devasthan’s immoveable property? If need was felt for additional workers, why was it not done with Government’s approval as per the regulations ? Or was it an attempt to appoint own people ? There is need to conduct in-depth inquiry into this matter.
3. Devasthan has appointed additional 441 ‘sevekari’/ workers by issuing identity cards to them. There are already so many workers employed with Devasthan; then why has it appointed them separately ? It has been recorded in the inspection conducted by Law and Justice Department that more than half the workers present in the temple had no work; moreover, they were using their I-cards to help themselves and their families and friends to go to the temple and have ‘darshan’; which means they were misusing their I-cards. It is waste of money offered by devotees on appointment of additional staff because the existing staff doesn’t work.
4. Another shocking fact exposed in the investigations of Law and Justice Department is ‘Bio-metric’ system operated for checking presence of employees in Trust’s office; but proper record has not been maintained of total employees and even officers have taken leave without obtaining Government’s permission. HVP has lodged complaints but no action has been taken so far and now, new irregularities have surfaced.
Replies given by advocate Ichalkaranjikar to questions asked by reporters
Q: Do you have information on money collected in religious places of Muslims ?
A: Govt. takes over temples but doesn’t touch mosques. Money collected in temples is used for irrigation and other causes. This Government came to power with promise of exposing scam worth Rs. 70,000 crores in irrigation; but corrupt persons involved in the scam are being protected. Wakf Board has thousands of acres of land; still Government gives them funds. We are giving priority to stop looting of temples.
Q: Such scams are taking place in temples of all castes and religions. What is your opinion on this ?
A: Charity Commissioner should check these things but he doesn’t do anything i.e. Government doesn’t do anything.
Serious complaints against CEO Sanjiv Patil
Former and present trustees have lodged complaints with the Government against CEO Sanjiv Patil appointed by the Government. Few of those serious complaints are –
A. Exchanging notes from temple during the period of demonetization of notes.
B. Female devotees were pulled out, using bad words.
C. Donors were given idols directly.
D. Government vehicle was used despite getting conveyance allowance
E. Rs. 10 lakhs were directly taken from donors, which were not deposited with the temple.
The above complaints are of serious nature but the Government has not yet taken any action against him. If the administration is not listening to Trustees appointed by the Govt., what will be the condition of devotees’ grievances? Advocate Ichalkaranjikar asked that why didn’t the Chief Minister, though he is holding charge of Law and Justice Department, take any action against Sanjiv Patil?