Chennai: The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court on Tuesday directed that unauthorised and illegal fake websites running in temple names should be banned across Tamil Nadu.
The direction came on a petition seeking to block websites operating in the names of major temples in Tamil Nadu and action against the operators of those websites.
The petition, filed by Subramanian and Markandan, read, “Many people start fake websites in the name of important temples including Chennai Kapaleeswarar Temple, Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple, Thanjai Periya Temple, Palani Murugan Temple, Srirangam Aranganathar Temple. Devottess give money thinking that the website belongs to the temple and therefore such websites should be blocked.”
“Cybercrime should find out how much money has been collected through those websites and confiscate the amount. The authorized website address of the temples should be made known to the public through the IT department,” said the bench of justices Mahadevan and Sathya Narayana Prasad.
The bench said steps should be taken to perform pujas, and donations through authorised websites. Devotees should be advised to deposit money in the temples or pay through authorised websites.
“If a complaint is received about fake websites, it should be investigated immediately and legal and criminal action should be taken against the operators of fake websites,” the bench said.
The judges stated further that Tamil Nadu temples, like Tirupati and Sabarimala shrines, should be run in a transparent manner.