Buyseotools Trading Notice sent to priest for salary recovery to be withdrawn, says Karnataka CM | Latest News India

Notice sent to priest for salary recovery to be withdrawn, says Karnataka CM | Latest News India

Notice sent to priest for salary recovery to be withdrawn, says Karnataka CM | Latest News India post thumbnail image

Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday assured to withdraw the recovery notice demanding a temple priest in Chikkamagaluru to return his “overpaid salary” while blaming the tehsildar for issuing the notice. The development comes after the Congress-led state government faced backlash with the Bharatiya Janata Party slamming the government and demanding that the notice be withdrawn with immediate effect.

Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah said sending the notice to the priest was the tehsildar’s mistake (PTI)

A priest, Hiremagalur Kannan, at the Kodanda Ramachandra Swamy temple in Chikkamagaluru was served notice by the tehsildar on December 2 asking him to “return an excess amount of 4.74 lakh credited to his account as salary between 2013 and 2022”. The issue, however, came to the fore afterKannanaddressed a press conference on Tuesday, explaining that he was asked to refund the money due to the temple’s lower revenue compared to the expenses for the tasdik (honorarium).

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“I have been asked to return the amount as the revenue of the temple is less than the expenses towards the tasdik (salary),” Kannan said.

“I was supposed to get an annual tasdik of 24,000 between 2003 and 2017 instead 90,000 per year was credited. Likewise, I was supposed to get 45,000 per year between 2017 and 2022 but I received 90,000 per year. I was paid an additional amount of 4.74 lakh over a period of 10 years and was asked to return the money as the temple was not generating good revenue. However, I wish to mention that it is because of priests like me, the government hundi (offerings given to the temple) collections have increased,” Kannan said.

As the issue gained traction, BJP state president B Y Vijayendra criticised the state government for allegedly “targeting Hindu religious sentiments”. In response, Siddaramaiah, however, acknowledged the tehsildar’s mistake, stating that the notice will be withdrawn.

“The tehsildar is wrong in issuing a notice to Hiremagaluru Kannan to refund the tasdik money… (it is) not Kannan’s fault. I will speak to the concerned officials to withdraw the notice. Kannan has been paid extra money by tehsildar, we will collect the arrears from them,” the CM saidwhile speaking to the reporters.

The government said there was an inadvertent release of 8.1 lakh as tasdik or honorarium to Kannan that occurred instead of the stipulated 3.36 lakh between 2013 and 2022. Consequently, the tehsildar requested Kannan to return the excess amount.

According to the notice, during 2013-2022, the temple’s revenue amounted to 9.34 lakh, while the recorded expenditure was 12.96 lakh, encompassing Kannan’s monthly salary of 7,500. The notice categorised the temple under category C which means a low-earning religious place. To be sure, HT is yet to see the notice.

Minister of transport and endowment Ramalinga Reddy also assured an inquiry against the tehsildar and other officers responsible for the error.

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