The Madras High Court recently observed that idol of a temple is akin to minor child and the Court has to protect the properties of the idol like as that of minor child (Sivaprakasam v. Palani Arulmighu Dhandayuthapani Temple).The observation was made by Justice RMT Teekaa Raman while ordering eviction of certain persons from the land belonging to the famous Palani temple in Tamil Nadu, on the ground that they had been squatting over the temple property for generations."It remains to be stated that it is trite in law that idol of the temple is akin to minor child. The Court is guardian of minor child both for person and property. Likewise, the Court is guardian of properties of Idol of the temple. The Court has to protect the properties of the Idol like as that of minor child," the Court said. .The Court went on to note that temple was deprived of enjoyment of its property for more than 60 years.It also observed that the defendants/ appellants were unable to establish their contention of adverse possession and title against the true owner of the land - the idol of the temple. It, therefore, ruled that Lord Subramania Swamy is entitled to recover the land..The property in question was an Inam granted by the British Government in 1863. After abolition of Inam, the settlement enquiry led to its grant in favour of the defendants. In appeal, the Tribunal granted Patta to the temple. Appeals against the same were dismissed by the High Court and Supreme Court.The temple then filed a suit for eviction against the appellants which was decreed in favour of the temple by Sub Court, Dharapuram. Appeals against the same were dismissed by Additional District Judge, Erode leading to the present appeal before the High Court. .The defendants essentially argued that since their predecessors had enjoyed the property for several years, they have acquired title over the same by way of adverse possession..However, the Court rejected this contention stating that the defendants had admitted in pleadings before the lower courts that were paying rent to the Temple Gurukkal, effectively admitting that they were tenants. Further, the Settlement Tahsildhar and after due enquiry, had granted both 'Kudiwaram' and 'Melwaram' to the temple."Once both waram belong to the Temple, the appellants herein cannot claim any Patta to the suit property," the Court said. Based on these the Court ruled that the appellants had failed to establish adverse possession. "In the absence of any positive evidence to demonstrate the hostile title of the defendants as against the idol of the temple both the Courts below have rightly come to the conclusion that the plea of adverse possession claimed by the defendants is only after thought and accordingly, the findings rendered by the both Courts below are hereby confirmed," the Court concluded. .The Court went on to observe that it is a settled position of law that the idol of a temple is like a minor child and must be protected.“This Court finds that the defendants for generations squatting over the temple property through a GRANT was granted by the British Government followed by the settlement Tahsildhar proceedings under the Tamil Nadu Inam Abolition Act and in view of the various proceedings. As this was third round of litigation, the temple land, Palani Arulmighu Dhandayuthapani Temple, deprived of the enjoyment of the property for more than 60 years," the judgment said. .Since the defendants were enjoying the property by adopting dubious methods, the Court directed the government authorities to give instructions to the executive officer/petitioner to take possession of the property within four weeks..The Court further directed that should the possession not be returned within prescribed time, the Commissioner must supervise that the decree is executed at the earliest.