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India 'Secular' India interferes in religion again: Supreme Court-appointed amicus...

‘Secular’ India interferes in religion again: Supreme Court-appointed amicus curiae to visit Puri

The Supreme Court, after hearing a petition on 8 June and 5 July, had directed the temple administration to implement 12 proposals as a part of disciplinary reforms in the 12th-century shrine

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Puri: The Supreme Court-appointed amicus curiae Gopal Subramanium is scheduled to arrive at Puri on Thursday to hold discussions with various stakeholders over reform measures in Jagannath Temple.

The amicus curiae on Friday and Saturday will interact with Gajapati Maharaja Dibyasingha Deb, Shankaracharya of Puri Neeschalananda Saraswati, officials of the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) and sections of the servitors over the proposals suggested by the apex court, SJTA chief administrator PK Mohapatra said.

The Supreme Court, after hearing a petition on 8 June and 5 July, had directed the temple administration to implement 12 proposals as a part of disciplinary reforms in the 12th-century shrine.

Issues relating to the abolition of hereditary appointment of servitors, an end to the collection of dakshina by servitors are likely to figure during the talks, sources said.

After obtaining the views from the stakeholders, the amicus curiae will submit a report to the apex court.

The Supreme Court had taken serious note of the alleged exploitation of devotees by sevaks at Jagannath temple and passed a slew of directions to prevent such malpractices and mismanagement.

The petition had highlighted the difficulties faced by devotees in the temple and their harassment by the servitors.

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