'Mutt's arbitrary acts prompted legal battle'

'Mutt's arbitrary acts prompted legal battle'

A day after the High Court order about the Mahabaleshwara temple at Gokarna in Uttara Kannada district, Chief priest Gajanan Krishna Heere on Saturday said that Ramachandrapura Mutt’s claims that the temple solely belonged to it, but not to the public prompted him to wage a legal battle.

“The temple did not belong to any private party. It can either. Before handing over of the Mutt in 2008, seers of any mutt could visit without anybody’s prior permission. However, during the Mutt’s administration, it was mandatory for seers to obtain the permission from the Mutt to visit the temple. We fought against this for 10 long years,” he told DH while reacting to the the HC quashing a 2008 government order handing over the management of the temple to Ramachandrapura Mutt, Hosanagar.

“Even seer from Sringeri needed the Mutt’s permission to visit the temple,” he said.

Heere added: “Since the days of Mayuravarma, only Heere and Adi families have been performing the Mahapuja at the temple. However, the Mutt permitted anybody to perform the Mahapuja which shocked us.”

“The Mutt broke the tradition and we moved the High Court by filing a public interest litigation,” he said.

Heere charged that the fee for rituals were hiked by 10 times after the Mutt took over the administration.

“Earlier, rituals were performed without any expectations. The Mutt hiked charges of variuos rituals and pujas by 10 times. Over 50 of us moved the HC against this,” he said.

The Court verdict did not have any impact on devotees. There was more rush on Saturday due to Amavasya.

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