Gokarna: SC tells govt to return ornaments to Mutt

The Mutt, led by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and advocate Ejaz Maqbool, filed a contempt petition against the state authorities for violating the apex court’s orders. DH file photo.

The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the Karnataka government to return ornaments and other moveables, besides the documents, audit report, pertaining to the ancient Gokarna Mahabaleshwara Temple, to the Ramachandrapura Mutt.

A bench presided over by Justice Kurian Joseph noted that after the order was issued on October 3 for maintaining the status quo on the management of the temple, as it prevailed on September 7, all those articles must be handed over to the Mutt on or before November 5. The court said the entire management has to remain with the Mutt until further orders.

The court’s order was passed as Karnataka government, represented by senior advocate Ranjit Kumar and advocate Joseph Aristotle, sought further clarification by filing an application.

The Mutt, led by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and advocate Ejaz Maqbool, filed a contempt petition against the state authorities for violating the apex court’s orders.

In its plea, the state government submitted, “a piquant situation has arisen in the matter as Halappa has already assumed the charge as executive officer of the temple on August 30. If the status quo order as on September 7 is to be maintained, in that event, some of the ornaments and other moveables which were handed over to Halappa, the present executive officer on September 19, should be handed over back to the erstwhile administrator.”

The Mutt’s counsel said the state government’s plea for clarification was a counterblast to the contempt plea. “With Thursday’s order, the state government has to hand over possession, management and the complete charge of the temple on or before Monday, November 5,” advocate Maqbool told DH.

On October 3, the court had ordered for maintaining of the status quo as was prevailing on September 7 in the temple situated in Uttara Kannada district. On September 7, the top court had refused to stay the Karnataka High Court’s order. The Mutt contended the state government authorities had taken over the management of the temple in contravention of the apex court’s order that stated the interim order passed by the high court would continue.

The high court had on August 10 quashed the B S Yeddyurappa government’s decision of August 12, 2008 to hand over control of the temple to Sri Ramachandrapura Mutt.

In its decision, the high court had declared the state government’s order as “illegal and not valid in law,” saying deleting the temple from the list of notified institutions in absence of any power and handing it over to the Mutt was “improper exercise of power and arbitrary”.

It had, as an interim measure, directed for setting up of an overseeing committee with Justice B N Srikrishna, former SC judge, as the advisor. But the order for appointing overseeing committee was kept in abeyance till September 10.

“The interim order passed by the High Court shall remain in force,” the apex court had earlier directed and issued notice to the Karnataka government and Sri Sansthana Mahabaleshwara Devaru and others, which had filed the writ petition in the high court, challenging the then state government’s decision.

Liked the story?

  • 1

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry

Comments:

Gokarna: SC tells govt to return ornaments to Mutt

0 comments

Write the first review for this !