Indore bench of Madhya Pradesh High Court on Wednesday issued directions to amend the Mahakal Temple Act and reappoint the priest (pujari) on salary basis instead of giving them a share from the offerings received by the Mahakal temple Ujjain.
The court observed that the deity is a perpetual minor and the court has to guard it
Mahakal temple, which has one of the 12 ‘jyotirlingas’, is one of the prominent temples in India and receives huge offerings from the devotees.
The petition was filed by one Sarika Pandey seeking relief concerning appointment of the pujaris. However, in due course of the arguments, the court of Justice NK Mody took suo-motto notice of the appointment of priests, management and offerings received by the temple.
The court had sought details of management of the temple, its Act, process of collection of offerings, record of the funds, appointment of the pujaris, remuneration given to them and security of the temple.
After listening to the arguments of advocate Sudarshan Joshi on behalf of temple management and Vinita Phaye for the state government, Justice NK Mody directed to amend the Section 13 of Mahakal Temple Act which government the temple.
Advocate Joshi said that Justice Mody has directed to remove all the priests and reappoint them on salary basis. Instead of giving them percentage of the offerings, the priests should be given fixed salary.
The court has directed to install cameras to monitor the proceedings at the temple. The temple should appoint two full time administrators.
Presently the SDM is the administrator of the temple which has 10 trustees with Collector as the President of the trust. There are 47 purohits and 20 main pujaris in the temple.
Sources said that the pujaris and purohits shared percentage in the offerings received in 37 donation boxes of the temple.
Joshi clarified that the order has been sent for some corrections and a fresh order will be available on Thursday.
What high court said
Temple act to be changed.
Priests will not share offerings but to be paid fixed salary.
Cameras to monitor temple proceedings.