Cuttack: The Orissa High Court today directed the Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) to open Jagamohan of Srimandir in Odisha’s Puri by April 16. The matter has been posted for next hearing on April 19, informed Ashok Mohapatra, concerned petitioner’s counsel.
The court also ordered for implementation of one of the recommendations of the Justice BP Das Commission on Srimandir Reforms that none other than the servitors, who have rituals to perform inside the Garbha Gruha (Sanctum Sanctorum), be allowed beyond the Bhitara Katha.
Earlier in the day, the High Court rejected SJTA’s plea for keeping Jagamohan closed till August 1 due to beginning of different festivals besides commencement of chariot manufacturing from Akshaya Tritiya. The court also expressed displeasure over the temple administration for not specifying the date for opening of the Jagamohan and summoned the SJTA chief administrator to appear in person before it in the afternoon.
The High Court in its previous hearing on April 5 had also censured the SJTA for failing to mention exact date for opening Jagamohan in its affidavit submitted in the court. The temple administration had stated that there is a necessity for repair of Jay-Vijay Dwar and the Jagamohan would be opened for public after its repair.
The division bench of the High Court comprising Chief Justice Vineet Saran and Justice BR Sarangi, while clarifying that Jay-Vijay Dwar is part of Natamandap, had directed SJTA to apprise the court as to when Jagamohan will be opened.
Notably, the High Court has been monitoring the repair work of the Srimandir in response to a PIL seeking judicial intervention for repair and renovation of the temple.