High Court relief to archakas in TTD on age cap
High Court relief to archakas in TTD on age cap

Hyderabad: In a significant development, a relief sought by archakas belonging to four families against the order by the Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanams (TTD) restricting their age was given by the Hyderabad High Court on Thursday.

Justice M S Ramachandra Rao pronounced in his voluminous verdict that TTD is not empowered to prescribe or curtail the age of archakas belonging to the following families, namely  M G CHARI, A B Govindachari, A C Chakravarthi, N  V Krishna Swamy.

The primary content before the court was whether the order dated June 27, 2018 issued by the TTD which stated that every hereditary family servant shall be less than 65 years to remain as archaka applies to the archakas belonging to the aforementioned four families or not.

The court held that the TTD Hereditary Services Rules, 1956 which categorically says that archakas shall be less than 65 years do not apply to the aforementioned archakas as the said rules ceased to exist with the enactment of Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanams Act 1979.   

The court also observed that master-servant or employer-employee relationship does not exist between the TTD and the Archakas belonging to the aforementioned families. The court expressed the opined that TTD is merely paying sambhavana to the archakas and therefore assigning employer employee relationship is inappropriate.

The court held that the legislators deliberately avoided mentioning the age of superannuation of archakas so as to enable and permit them to practice their profession without any age restrictions. 

The court further averred that the Resolution No. 50 dated May 16, 2018 of the Trust Board of the TTD as well as the GO issued on June 27, 2018 are illegal, arbitrary, unconstitutional and violative of Article 14 and 25 of the Constitution of India and hence the petitioners cannot be made to retire on attaining 65 years of age.  

Hence, the court held that it did not find any merit in the contention of the Secretary, Endowments Department - Andhra Pradesh and granted relief in favour of the petitioner archakas to discharge their services as long as they are physically fit.

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