SC orders status quo on Udupi temple admin appointment

Supreme Court orders status quo on appointment of Udupi temple administrator

The Supreme Court has ordered status quo on the appointment of an administrator of Sri Mahatobora Veerabhadreshwara Temple at Hiriyadka, Bommarabettu Village, Udupi.

A bench of Justices N V Ramana, R Subhash Reddy and Surya Kant asked the Karnataka government to file a response explaining what action has been taken in a dispute related to the administration of the temple.

The High Court had on February 2, 2020, remanded the matter to 'Rajya Dharmika Parishat' for resolution of the dispute.

The Parishat had earlier appointed Sunil Hegde as a fit person for the administration of the temple.

However, on a plea by the Alva Hegde family, the HC set aside the Parishat's order and remanded the matter back to the body under Section 63A of the Karnataka Hindu Religious Charities and Endowments Act, 1997.

Hegde, led by senior advocate Devadatt Kamat and advocate Nishanth Patil, contended before the top court that the petitioner and his family have been conducting the religious affairs of the temple for almost 50 years. 

"The temple has gained immense popularity and has become very powerful only due to the constant religious and spiritual effort of the petitioner and his father. It is therefore in the interests of justice that the petitioner be allowed to continue as the ‘fit person’ till the disposal of the present petition," they pleaded.

On this, the court issued notice to M Govardhan Das Hegde and others which was accepted by their counsel Shailesh Madiyal.

"State of Karnataka is directed to file its counter-affidavit showing the progress made in the matter after remand by the High Court to the Rajya Dharmika Parishat. In the meantime, the status quo, as it exists today, shall be maintained by the parties," the court said.

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