Bhubaneswar: The Supreme Court on Thursday accepted the Odisha Government’s affidavit pertaining to proper management of Puri Jagannath Temple and directed senior advocate Gopal Subramanium to visit Puri after the Rath Yatra to discuss issues with all stakeholders and submit report before next hearing.
The apex court posted the matter for hearing on September 5. The court has appointed senior advocate Gopal Subramanium as Amicus Curie to assist the court in framing guidelines for managing the affairs of 12th century.
The apex court also directed to upload the report submitted to it by Puri District Judge on Jagannath Temple management in the website of the temple and Union Culture Ministry for two weeks.
The District judge was earlier asked to give factual report on difficulties faced by visitors, exploitative practices (if any) and deficiencies in management (if any) by June 30.
Taking serious note of the frequent mismanagement and harassment of devotees by servitors at Jagannath temple, the apex court has asked Puri District Judge to give a report on factual aspects of difficulties faced by visitors, exploitative practices (if any), deficiencies in the temple management (if any) and suggestions to improve the overall functioning of the temple.
The court also asked the temple administration to pay remuneration to servitors and ensure their better financial condition.
On June 8, while hearing a petition on mismanagement at the 12th century shrine, the apex court also sought a report from the Puri District Judge on the difficulties faced by visitors to the temple and asked him to monitor the footages of already CCTV installed in the temple on a monthly basis.
The SC ordered the Odisha Government to form a committee to study the practices followed by the administration of other religious shrines such as Vaishnodevi, Somnath Temple and Golden Temple, and incorporate these best practices in the management of the Jagannath temple.
Meanwhile, following the SC order, the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) pasted notice in the temple asking servitors not to collect dakhina and donations from the devotees.