Odisha HC issues notice over temple ritual irregularities

Bhubaneswar, June 24 (IANS) The Odisha High Court on Wednesday served notice to the state government officials and Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) over the alleged mismanagement during the Brahma Parivartan rituals in Jagannath temple.

The court issued the notice to the chief secretary, law secretary and the chief of the SJTA, asking them to respond within two weeks.

The court issued the notice on a petition of Odisha Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) youth president Umakant Pattnayak, who urged the court to initiate judicial inquiry by a retired judge of the Supreme Court or the high court and take action against the guilty responsible for the irregularities committed during the Nabakalebar rituals.

“It seems that the temple administration has no control on one section of the servitors who are responsible for all such irregularities and only by way of judicial inquiry such activities can be brought to the limelight and it would compel the government and the administration to take strong action against the persons,” said Pattnayak in his petition.

He said the bungling during the Brahma Parivartan ritual of the presiding deities hurt the religious feelings of the people of Odisha.

In a related development, the SJTA on Wednesday filed its reply in the high court on the issue of banning the general public from ‘darshan’ on the occasion of ‘Nabajoubana Darshan’ (first darshan of the deities after month-long confinement within sanctum santorum).

The SJTA in its reply said that it is not possible to allow a large number of devotees to have ‘darshan’ of the deities on that day since the next day is the Rath Yatra (car festival) and 36 rituals of Lords are to be undertaken before that.

The Rath Yatra will be celebrated on July 18 and the government expects a congregation of 25 lakh people during the festival.

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