Udupi temple handed over to Ashta Mutts

The temple was denotified on October 26 from the list of temples notified under the Karnataka Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments Act 1997.

Higher Education minister V S Acharya, who is in-charge of Udupi district, told reporters on Wednesday that revision of the list was only rectifying a mistake committed by an officer in 2003. According to the Act, which came into effect in 2003, religious mutts and temples belonged to mutts should not be exempted from the purview of the Endowment Department. Since 2003, the Ashta Mutts had been demanding the government to denotify the temple, he said.

The Minister said the temple had been owned and maintained the Krishna Mutt established by Madhvacharya 800 years ago. The Muzrai Department had obtained opinion of the Law Department as well.

‘Mistake rectified’

Interestingly, Muzrai Minister Krishna Palemar did not make the announcement of the denotification. However, when contacted, Palemar said, “the previous governments had committed the mistake by notifying the temple as the Muzrai temple. Now we have corrected it”.

According to a senior officer, the Revenue Department earlier had opposed denotification citing a case pending in Udupi district court. However, the government denotified the temple well before the court could deliver its judgement, he said.

Asked how could the government issue such a notification when the matter was still in court, Acharya said the Ashta Mutts had approached the court seeking denotification of the temple. “There is nothing wrong if the government fulfils the petitioner’s plea well before the court’s verdict is pronounced”, he said.

The state government has imposed four conditions on maintenance of the temple. The religious programmes should continue as per the tradition followed for many years and the public should continue to enjoy the right to visit the temple. The denotification of the temple is subject to court’s orders, if any, concerned to the temple. Properties belonged to the temple should be safeguarded and the renovation of any structure of the temple should not be taken up without prior permission of the government.

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