The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to interfere in the rituals which are performed in Ujjain’s historic Mahakaleshwar temple, as reported by PTI. The iconic Mahakaleshwar temple in Madhya Pradesh houses one of the 12 sacred Jyotirlingams.
Even though the Supreme Court refused to interfere in the traditions of the temple, it ordered that the temple be inspected in January 2019:
Supreme Court in its interim order refuses to interfere with the rituals followed in the Ujjain Mahakal Temple,Court however orders inspection of the Temple in January next year.
— ANI (@ANI) May 2, 2018
The Supreme Court has for some time been hearing the matter of protecting the Jyotirlingam inside the temple sanctum. August 2017, the apex court had created an expert committee to investigate and report about the rate deterioration of the Jyotirlingam and the means to prevent it. The committee was also asked to study other temple structures and suggest ways for its overall upkeep.
A few months down the line, reports claimed that new worship norms were approved by the Supreme Court, which included devotees being only allowed to use 500 ml of RO water for Abhishekam. The norms also supposedly included banning Abhishekams via sugar, milk and curd, as such products were allegedly responsible for its shrink in size. Besides this, it was also instructed that the Jyotirlingam be covered in a cotton cloth during the bhasm aarti.
Such norms had angered various devotees who had called it a judicial overreach.
Incidentally about a month later, it was reported that the Supreme Court had taken a strong objection to reports that it had passed an interim order imposing restrictions on offerings and rituals. Following a notice in this regard was removed by the management of the temple.
In the current report, the Supreme Court’s bench of Justices Arun Mishra and U U Lalit have made it clear in their order that the court had not interfered in the religious ceremony of the temple.
The court though directed that resolution passed by the temple management committee with regards to using 500 ml water for Jalabhishek would stand.
Even on 5 April, the court had stated that it was only concerned with the protection of the Jyotirlingam, and the onus regarding the rituals observed in the temple lay only with the temple management.