Mansas Trust case: AP High Court rules in favour of Ashok Gajapathi Raju


The AP High Court on Wednesday (today) dismissed petitions filed by Andhra Pradesh government and Sanchaitha Gajapathi Raju challenging the orders passed by single judge reinstating TDP senior leader P Ashok Gajapathi Raju as chairman of Manas Trust.

The AP High Court upheld the orders passed by single judge and ruled that Ashok Gajapathi Raju will continue as chairman of Mansas Trust.

Sanchaitha also filed three separate petitions challenging the single judge order.

However, the division bench of AP High Court headed by Chief Justice Arup Kumar Goswami dismissed all these petitions.

It may be recalled that AP government had filed three appeal petitions in July arguing that the single judge erred in his judgment which was based on the will deed which has become void.

It may be also recalled that the government had removed Ashok as chairman of Mansas trust and Simhachalam temple trust on March 3, 2020, and appointed Sanchaitha Gajapathi Raju in his place by recognising her as the founder family member.

Ashok challenged his removal in the high court, arguing that he was removed arbitrarily without following due procedure. He also stated that his removal was against the trust deed which stipulates that only the eldest male lineal descendants can be appointed as chairman of the trust.

The government defended its move, arguing that Sanchaitha was eligible for the position and cannot be discriminated based on gender.

The high court, however, set aside the GO and reinstated Ashok as chairman of the two trusts. But AP government appealed against the order, arguing that the single judge made an error in his judgement while ruling in favour of Ashok based on the trust deed which has become void after the 1987 legislation which abolishes all hereditary trusties.

The government has also argued that Sanchaitha has preferential right of succession over Ashok according to Hindu Succession Act.

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