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SJTA convenes meeting to finalise Amicus Curia’s tour schedule

Puri: The Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) today convened an emergency meeting chaired by Srimandir managing committee chief Gajapati Maharaj Divyasingh Dev ahead of the scheduled visit of Supreme Court-appointed Amicus Curiae Gopal Subramaniam to Puri over temple reforms.

The meeting which was attended by SJTA chief administrator PK Mohapatra, Puri Collector, SP, legal cell chief of servitors’ body and other members of temple managing committee decided that the Amicus Curiae will hold talks first with Sankaracharya Nischalananda Saraswati over temple affairs. Later, he will meet Gajapati Maharaj, Justice BP Das Commission, SJTA officials and other stakeholders to discuss over the temple reforms.

The Amicus Curiae is scheduled to arrive at Puri on September 20 on a three-day visit. He will give special focus on the SC’s proposal of abolition of hereditary appointment of servitors, prohibition of collection of donations among 12 proposals made by the apex court.

Based on the suggestions of the stakeholders, the Amicus Curiae would submit the final report to the Supreme Court.

Hearing a petition filed by one Mrinalini Padhi highlighting the mismanagement and harassment of devotees in the temple, the Supreme Court had advised the State Government to go for reforms in the management of day-to-day affairs of the 12th century shrine.

Taking serious note of the alleged exploitation of devotees by ‘sevaks’ at the Jagannath temple, the Supreme Court had passed a slew of directions to prevent such practices and mismanagement.

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