SC refers Bengaluru temple dispute to HC for mediation

SC refers Bengaluru temple dispute to HC for mediation

A plea was made before it for contempt action against those who “illegally, arbitrarily and forcibly” took over possession of 'Sri Sri Muthyalamma Devi Temple' at Bengaluru from the man, claiming to be the president of the shrine trust.

The Supreme Court has referred a dispute on management and control of a prominent Bengaluru temple for mediation before the Karnataka High Court.

A plea was made before it for contempt action against those who “illegally, arbitrarily and forcibly” took over possession of 'Sri Sri Muthyalamma Devi Temple' at Bengaluru from the man, claiming to be the president of the shrine trust.

A bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and M R Shah asked the parties to appear before the high court for amicable resolution of the dispute.

The court had earlier sought a response from H Hanumanthu and others, the police and the district authorities, on an application filed by H Nagaraju and others, through advocate Sanjay M Nuli, who contended they were dispossessed from the temple, despite the court's orders issued on April 9 and September 20, 2018.

As the parties appeared, the top court suggested them to go for mediation.

Nagaraju and others, claimed that there has been disobedience of the apex court's orders, wherein there was no specific direction with regard to possession and title of the land and it was to be maintained as per the orders of the civil court.

Nagaraju submitted that 'Sri Sri Muthyalamma Temple' was initially founded by his ancestors.

“Ever since its inception, there have been several litigations over the past many years between the brothers of the applicant in respect of the same temple and also with regards to over three acres of land at Daragajogihalli Village, Kasaba Hobli, Doddaballapur Taluk which was left for the “Deeparadana”,” he said.

During the suit proceedings, the Tahsildar, after holding enquiry and recording of evidence, had passed an order on April 28, 2016 holding that Nagaraju alone was entitled to be in possession and management of the temple and the said land as well. His name was mutated to show that he has title over the property.

As President of the temple and in possession of the schedule premises, he had sought to conduct the 'Sri Sri Muthyalamma fair' and 'Rathothsava morning 'fair and had requested permission to use mike sets and sound systems.

On April 9, 2018, the apex court quashed the proceedings before the Karnataka High Court with no specific directions as to possession of the schedule property.

“But after the court's order, the contemnors addressed the electronic media and misrepresented the order. In a mischievous attempt, they addressed the electronic media and had propagated the idea that the order of this court had been passed in their favour and they were to be handed over the possession and the management of the affairs of the temple,” Nagaraju claimed.

He said he had filed several complaints with the police authorities and Tahsildar in this regard.