Apex court refuses to interfere with HC order in mutts' row

Apex court refuses to interfere with HC order in mutts' row

Apex court refuses to interfere with HC order in mutts' row

The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked Uttaradi Mutt and Sri Raghavendra Swamy Mutt to perform 'Aaradhana' (puja) at Nava Vrindavanagaddi in Koppal district for two days and one day respectively between April 13 and April 15 in view of their pending dispute over the property.

Hearing an urgent plea made by Sri Raghavendra Swamy Mutt, a three-judge bench presided over by Justice Dipak Misra refused to interfere with the Karnataka High Court's order of April 4, saying, “Why should court enter into all these things?”

The court, however, asked the high court's principal bench at Bengaluru to dispose of the pending dispute between the two groups within four months. Senior advocate Kapil Sibal and R Venkataramani, appearing for Sri Raghavendra Swamy Mutt, questioned the high court's order, contending why should an arrangement, wherein both the parties were allowed worshipping for equal amount of time for 22 years from 1993 to 2015, be changed.

They sought permission for the mutt to perform 'Aaradhana' at least for one-and-a-half days in the three-day period.

Senior advocate Harin P Raval, along with senior advocates Jay Vitthal Kolar and Dhyan Chinappa, representing Uttaradi Mutt, submitted that the arrangement that continued for all these years, came to an end with the high court's order. The counsel, however, submitted that if the other side performs 'puja' only for a day, they would not have any objection.

The bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and Mohan M Shantanagoudar, observed, “We will say do your 'puja' and tell the HC to dispose of the matter within four months.” The court also clarified that the direction by the high court would be restricted only for three days between April 13 and 15. “The interim arrangement is interim only. Any observation by the high court should not affect the outcome of the regular second appeal,” the bench said.

Protracted legal battle
Both the mutts are locked in a protracted legal battle claiming rights over the portion of the land measuring 27.5 acres out of 100 acres at Anegundi village, Gangavathi taluk, Koppal district, bound on the East, West, South and North by Tungabhadra River, popularly known as Nava Vrindavanagaddi.

Both the mutts also fought over the rights to perform the rituals at Sri Padmanabha Tirtha, the first disciple of Madhwacharya, at the Nava Vrindavana (an island).
DH News Service