A day after the Supreme Court refused to stay the Karnataka High Court order restoring Gokarna Mahabaleshwara temple as an endowment temple, the petitioners before the High Court have alleged that the government had not taken over the administration of the temple even after a month.
The petitioners claim that their pleas to the state government to comply with the High Court order yielded no results.
The High Court had quashed the B S Yeddyurappa government’s order on August 12, 2008, de-notifying Gokarna temple and handing it over to Ramachandrapura Mutt. The High Court had passed an interim order appointing an overseeing committee for managing the temple and stated that the committee would commence work on September 10.
“The High Court had quashed the denotification order on August 10, 2018. Since then we have been requesting the government, including the Muzrai department, to take possession of the temple. However, the government is not honouring the court order and the temple is still being managed by the Mutt. Our plea is that the temple should be an endowment temple immediately after the government order of 2008 was quashed by the High Court,’’ Ganapati Hire, one of the petitioners before the High Court, said.
Rajashekhar B Patil, Minister for Mines and Muzrai, said that a decision would be taken soon. “We have already appointed an executive officer for the temple. We will follow the court order,’’ he told DH. The petitioners say that the government was reading the High Court order differently.
“According to the department, only the overseeing committee will take administrative possession of the temple. That will be a misreading of the High Court order since the court has quashed the denotification order,’’ Hire said.
Interestingly, in the official circular on August 28, appointing an executive officer for the temple, the Muzrai department claimed that the government had taken possession of the temple.
The department has appointed H Halappa, executive officer of the Kollur Mookambika temple, as the executive officer of the Gokarna temple.
Deputy Commissioner of Uttara Kannada district S S Nakul said the district administration had completed the process of creating an inventory of all the movable and immovable assets of the temple as well as bank accounts.
“We will soon take the decision on taking possession of the temple after receiving the copy of the Supreme Court order,’’ he said.