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Not For us to Say How to Perform Puja: SC on Ujjain's Mahakal Temple

The Supreme Court on Thursday made it clear that it is not the job of a court to pass orders on how to perform puja in a temple and that its concerns are limited to protecting the 'lingam' of Ujjain’s Mahakaleshwar temple.

Utkarsh Anand | CNN-News18

Updated:April 5, 2018, 1:11 PM IST
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Not For us to Say How to Perform Puja: SC on Ujjain's Mahakal Temple
File Photo of the Supreme Court of India.
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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday made it clear that it is not the job of a court to pass orders on how to perform puja in a temple and that its concerns are limited to protecting the 'lingam' of Ujjain’s Mahakaleshwar temple.

"We are not here to order how puja should be performed. It is not our job to order methods of religious ceremonies. We are concerned only about the lingam which has been deteriorating," observed a bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra.

Justice Mishra added that the Court does not have to issue directions, say, how to conduct the bhasma aarti, as to what rituals can, or what rituals cannot be, performed.

"This is not our job. It is for the temple management and other stakeholders to discuss and decide among themselves what should be done and what should not. We are concerned only about the lingam," he said.

Justice Mishra further observed that the apex court was not at all bothered about the fight among the pujaris and pandas in the temple.

The bench asked all parties, including the temple management and state government, to submit their suggestions on how to protect the lingam. It reserved its judgment on this point.

The Court also criticised the order passed by a single bench in the Madhya Pradesh High Court whereby several bylaws had been tinkered with and a string of directions had been issued to the management of the temple.

"How did a single bench entertain a PIL? Only a division bench can hear a PIL in MP High Court. And then the single bench granted you reliefs that you did not even ask for. How could this be done? It was completely improper. The division bench rightly set it aside," the bench told the lawyer appearing for the petitioner in the apex court.

It also pointed out that the petitioner was wife of a pujari and that there could be some personal interests involved.

"You have not come to the Court with clean hands. We don't want to comment any further. We will confine ourselves only to the protection of the lingam in the interest of the worshippers," said the Court while reserving its judgment.

| Edited by: Ashutosh Tripathi
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