The apex court on Tuesday directed amicus curiae Ranjit Kumar and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to visit the Jagannath Temple in Puri and report to it on the developments happened after the eviction drive undertook by temple administration and State Government in and around the structure.
A three-judge bench of Justices Arun Mishra, MR Shah and BR Gavai told both of them to visit the temple on Sep 9 and 10 and posted the matter for next hearing to Sep 17.
The bench also dismissed two petitions seeking stay on the eviction drive.
The petitions filed by one Arvindalochanan and other by Inter-Continental Association of Lawyers had sought stay on Odisha’s cabinet decision of razing of illegal structures in the surrounding area of the Jagannath Temple.
The bench dismissed the pleas after taking note the submissions of Odisha Advocate General Ashok Parija’s in which he said that the eviction was carried out in compliance with the Das Committee recommendation which demanded making the temple free of trespassing till 75 metres of its surrounding.
On the previous hearings, the court had took an exception over the government running and managing the Jagannath Temple saying that in a secular country like India, this practice should not be allowed.
It had also ordered a slew of directions to mitigate so-called victimization of pilgrims at Jagannath temple and the management of its finances, including donations and offerings by pilgrims.
The court was hearing a plea drawing attention of the court at the unscrupulous practices in the management of the Jagannath Temple.
—India Legal Bureau