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3-member committee formed to study managements of important shrines in India

Bhubaneswar, June 14, 2018: As per the Supreme Court order, a three-member committee headed by former -Chief Administrator of Puri Jagannath Temple Suresh Mohapatra with IG (Central Range) Soumendra Priyadarshi and temple managing committee member Mahimohan Tripathy as members, was formed to study managements of other shrines in India.

The Supreme Court on June 8 passed a slew of directions for proper management of the Jagannath Temple in Puri and to prevent exploitation of pilgrims there.

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 in the management of the Jagannath temple.

The team will study management scheme of important shrines such as Vaishno Devi, Somnath Temple, Golden Temple, Tirupati Temple and suggest changes at Puri Jagannath Temple.

The Law Department which supervises the administrative affairs of the 12th century shrine issued a notification about the formation of the team today.

As per the notification, the committee will study the management schemes of other important shrines such as Vaishno Devi, Somnath Temple, Golden Temple, Tirupati Temple, Dharmasthala (Karnataka) Temple and suggest such changes as may be considered necessary for the Shree Jagannath Temple, Puri.

The Committee has been asked to give its interim report by June 30 as per the direction of Supreme Court.

Notably, the Supreme Court June 8 while hearing a petition filed by Mrinalini Padhi that highlighted difficulties faced by devotees at the Jagannath Temple at Puri and their harassment or exploitation by the sevaks (servitors) of the temple, passed a slew of directions to prevent exploitation of devotees by staff at the famed Puri Jagannath temple.

It also directed the Puri District Judge Ambuja Mohan Das to submit a factual report 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 by June 30.

The apex court also appointed senior advocate Gopal Subramanium to assist the court in framing guidelines for managing the affairs of Jagannath temple besides debarring the servitors to accept dakhinas from devotees.

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