SC proposes dress code for Srimandir servitors

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Bhubaneswar: The Supreme Court has proposed for implementation of dress code and identity cards for the servitors of Jagannath temple in Puri while conducting a hearing on its earlier direction.

During the hearing on Thursday, the apex court reiterated the direction it had already issued in connection with the management of the temple and directed the administration to comply with the same.

On the other hand, the district judge of Puri submitted a report in the apex court during the hearing in response to the order of this court on June 8.

In his report, the district Judge stated that a meeting was held with the Chief Administrator of Shri Jagannath Temple Administration, the Collector and the Superintendent of Police, Puri along with other administrators of the temple. The district judge also considered the response of the public. He has also taken into account previous study reports on the subject.

The district judge observed that in spite of the order of the apex court, Thalls and pitchers are being exhibited for the collection of money Illegally. Action for violation for contempt may be considered later in the light of further material which may be placed on record, including the CCTV footages, the SC said.

After considering all the aspects, the district Judge has made the suggestions under the following heads:

(i) Abolition of hereditary Sevaks/Appointment of Sevaks. (ii) Prohibition to collect money for Annadan Atika by Sevaks. Ban on placing Thali and Pitches by Sevaks to receive offering. (iii) Temple Management to take control of Rosaghar and Chullas. (iv) Provision of separate toilets for male and female and sevaks. (v) Queue system for hassle free darshan. (vi) Surveillance of collection from Hundis and receptacles. (vii) Audit of Temple Funds by Accountant General. (viii) Identity cards for sevaks and staffs. (ix) Guides to be registered in Temple office. (x) Reduction of over staffs of Temple Administration. (xi) Single authority for security management in Temple Premises. (xii) Proposed Amendments in Sri Jagannath Temple Act, 1954. We are not quoting the discussion under each heading.

The top court has directed that the website of the temple needs to be updated so that information about all the facilities and schedule of visits are available for the convenience of the visitors.

The matter is adjourned to September 5 for further consideration.

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