Saturday, December 9, 2023

Patna High Court asks Bihar Chief Secretary how soon can state religious trust board be set up

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The Patna High Court has asked the Bihar Chief Secretary when the state government will set up the Bihar State Religious Trust Board. The court sought this answer while hearing a PIL seeking that the Vishnupad temple property be made public, including the development of the temple in Gaya. The next hearing on the case will be held on December 17.

The division bench of Chief Justice Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice S. Kumar heard the PIL filed by Gaurav Kumar Singh. During the hearing, Senior Advocate Ganapathi Trivedi on behalf of the Board of Religious Trusts told the court that the decision of appeal pending in Gaya’s district court has come in favour of the board. The court has validated the management of Vishnupad temple under the Board of Trustees.

The Trust Board will formulate a scheme for the development of the entire temple under the Religious Trust Act, but this is not possible due to a legal hurdle. The petitioner submitted that this would be possible only after the Board of Religious Trusts was formed.

The High Court has asked the Chief Secretary of the state to clarify the situation by filing a counter affidavit regarding the formation of the Trust Board within two days. Also, the Court asked how long it will take to form the board.

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The applicant’s counsel, Sumit Kumar Singh, told the court that the main objective of filing the application is to manage the Vishnupad temple in a systematic and comprehensive scale and not to interfere in the employment of local pandas. The High Court accepted his argument and assured that the interests of the local people would not be ignored in the development of the temple trust. The court directed the advocate general and the state government to hold a meeting and discuss the matter.

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