Cuttack, Aug. 5: Orissa High Court today directed the commissioner of endowments to appoint a new trust board for the management of Emar Mutt in Puri.
The single-judge bench of Justice M.M. Das issued the direction while rejecting the petition filed by Mahanta Rajgopal Ramanuja Dash challenging the validity of his suspension from the position of hereditary trustee. He was suspended after arrest in a criminal case in connection with the 522 British era silver bricks that were unearthed from the premises of the mutt in the last week of February.
The court allowed him to perform puja at the mutt as a member of the public and not as Mahanta.
After suspending him the commissioner of endowments on March 25 appointed an interim trust board with five members “until further arrangement for smooth management of the institution and to safeguard the mutt”.
The interim trust board, which has five members, passed a resolution on March 27 electing Mahanta Sri Indra Raman Ramanuja Das as the interim managing trustee. The commissioner of endowments approved the election on March 28.
Staking claim to the seized property along with other properties in the mutt, the interim managing trustee, Mahanta Sri Indra Raman Ramanuja Das, had claimed in his intervention petition that “the interest of the mutt can only be protected by the present trust board after suspension of Mahanta Rajgopal Ramanuja Dash”.
While allowing the intervention petition, the high court in an interim order on April 13 directed that the 522 silver bricks be moved out of Puri’s Emar Mutt to the district armoury of the Reserve Police in the temple town.