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Min : 29.20°C (+3)
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Kalighat temple plea in apex court

The apex court on Tuesday admitted an appeal against the Calcutta High Court order banning the entry of devotees into the sanctum sanctorum of Kalighat temple.

The appeal by the Kalighat Temple Committee submitted that the order had hurt religious sentiments of devotees by preventing them from touching the deity. “…devotes have always been allowed to touch the deity and denial of the opportunity will cause them mental agony and also violates the fundamental rights of the public at large as granted under the Constitution of India,” the appeal states.

After hearing the committee’s lawyer, Rana Mukherjee, the two-judge bench of Justice Deepak Verma and Justice S.J. Mukhopadhyaya decided to hear the matter next week.

The high court had on April 20 imposed a curb on entry into the sanctum sanctorum as part of a series of measures aimed at ending extortion of devotees by pandas at the temple and keeping the premises clean.

“No devotee, not even VIPs and VVIPs, will be allowed in the sanctum sanctorum,” the high court division bench of Chief Justice J.N. Patel and Justice S.K. Chakrabarti had ruled, following a submission by the state that the rule of law could only be enforced on the temple premises if access to the sanctum sanctorum was curbed.

Two priests can enter the sanctum sanctorum at a time and two others have been granted access to remove the flowers and leaves. The ruling followed petitions highlighting the panda raj and lack of cleanliness at the temple.