New Delhi, Sep 17 :
Mumbai-based Saidham Charitable Trust Wednesday moved the Supreme Court seeking direction to the Centre and Maharashtra government to ensure that the idols of Sri Sai Baba were not illegally removed from any temple across the country and his devotees were not interfered, obstructed or hindered from worshiping.
As the petition by the Saidham Charitable Trust was mentioned before the apex court bench of Justice Anil R. Dave and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit, Justice Dave recused himself from hearing it saying that he had been associated with the trust.
The petitioner trust has also sought direction to the Centre and the Maharashtra government to ensure that the law and order situation does not deteriorate in the country in the wake of “unwanted controversy” created by Shankaracharya Swami Swaroopanand Saraswati.
Of the eleven prayers made by the petitioner trust, one seeks to restrain the media from telecasting, broadcasting and publishing anything that is insulting or defamatory to Sai Baba of Shirdi and hurts the sentiments of his devotees.
Seeking action against all those who are running campaign defamatory to Sai Baba, the petitioner trust has sought direction for the restoration of Baba’s idols from wherever they have been removed.
The petition said that the offensive language that has been used by Shankaracharya Swami Swaroopanand Saraswati and his followers has hurt the sentiments of a large number of Sai Baba’s devotees across the country and abroad.
The petition said that Shankaracharya and his followers are openly campaigning that Sai Baba was not a symbol of Hindu-Muslim unity and when Muslims are not believing in him then why Hindus are following him.
The petitioner trust regretted that despite the use of offensive language by the Swami Swaroopanand Saraswati and his followers and removing the idols of Sai Baba, neither the Centre nor the Maharashtra government has taken any stern action against them to protect and respect the sentiments of lakhs of devotees of the Sri Sai Baba.