Why did Supreme Court deny to hear the Puri devotee?

As mutts around Puri are getting demolished, why are all political parties mum?

Supreme Court failed to realise the magnitude of its denial to hear the Devotee.
Supreme Court failed to realise the magnitude of its denial to hear the Devotee.

Supreme Court failed to realise the magnitude of its denial to hear the Devotee.

Puri Mutt demolition is the testimony to the utter disregard of the Supreme Court towards ancient religious institutions, which were supposed to be protected by Special Places of Worship Act of 1991.

Very recently there was law and order problem in Delhi when Devotees protested with agony the demolition of Sant Ravidas Temple in Delhi by the DDA.

Even at that time, the Supreme Court failed in taking into consideration the sentiments of the crores of the Sant Ravidas devotees.

The Supreme Court failed to look at the petition of the devotees when it came before the bench of Justice Arun Misra.

It wrongly assumed that the centuries-old Sant Ravidas temple has only a few followers and the management of the trust could be legally silenced which was totally false.

IN 1991, Parliament enacted the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act “to prohibit conversion of any place of worship and to provide for the maintenance of the religious character of any place of worship as it existed on August 15, 1947”.

The Act made it clear that the religious character of a place of worship shall continue to exist as it existed on August 15, 1947.

The Act made it clear that if, on the commencement of this Act, that is, on July 11, 1991, any suit, appeal or other proceedings with respect to the conversion of the religious character of any place of worship, existing on August 15, 1947, is pending, the same shall be disposed of in accordance with it. Subsection (3) of Section 4 of the Act, however, said it would not apply to a place of worship which is an ancient and historical monument or an archaeological site or remains covered by the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958, or any suit, appeal or other proceeding, which has been finally decided, settled or disposed of by a court, tribunal or other authority before the commencement of this Act.

More important, Section 5 of the Act made it inapplicable to the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, and to any suit, appeal or other proceedings relating to it. The Act, enacted when the Hindutva campaign for Ram Janmabhoomi was at its peak, before the demolition of the Babri Masjid, was aimed at protecting places of worship other than the Babri Masjid from becoming targets of hate campaign and vandalism by the Sangh Parivar, and therefore, was a huge statement of the then P.V. Narasimha Rao government at the Centre in defence of secularism.

But, has it really stopped demolitions of the ancient religious mutts and places of worship belonging to Hindus by the State is a mute question.

The Supreme Court failed to look at the petition of the devotees when it came before the bench of Justice Arun Misra.

The Supreme Court further failed to recognise the fact that it could not adjudicate in the conversion of the religious character of the Temples and mutts around Puri Sri Mandir.

Note:
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.

C.S. RANGARAJAN

C S Rangarajan belongs to the family of Hereditary Archaka cum Trustees of the famous Sri Chilkur Balaji Venkateswara Swamy Temple of Telangana State. He completed his B.E (Biomedical Engineering) from the Osmania University in June, 1988. He was educated in Agama Sastras as well and passed Archaka Pravesha Exam in 1995. He worked in many Medical Device companies before quitting the Engineering Profession to join in the Service of the Almighty at Chilkur at an age of 35 years. He felt this was a calling of God to help the worshippers at the Temple have a better devotional experience through his service. Most important is the fact that he has been assisting his father Dr M V Soundara Rajan in running the Temples Protection Movement from Chilkur Balaji temple which has set a unique trend against Commercialisation and Politicisation of Temple worship. He assists his father in running the Trilingual Monthly Journal VAK which is the voice of Temples. He has always been striving for revival of ancient temples and has played a key role in sensitizing the devotees on the need to revive the ancient temples in their ancestral villages. He has also taken keen interest in the welfare of the society at large by not only striving for inculcating devotional spirit in the devotees visiting Chilkur temple but also ensuring that the temple plays a role in the upliftment of the weaker sections through such innovative initiatives as motivating devotees to wear handlooms on Saturdays providing support to the weavers’ community. He has also played a major role in the movement to reform the temple system and also highlighting the pitiable state of the Archaka community leading eventually to the amendment of the draconian 30/87 Andra Pradesh Endowments Act . He has been instrumental in development of the Conservation manual for the Endowments Department by REACH Foundation. His LLM Thesis is now being published by the Temples Protection Movement
C.S. RANGARAJAN

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