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Kashi Vishwanath Temple: SC issues notice to UP government on a petition challenging govt taking over management of the temple

The family alleged that their right of religious rites and rituals of the temple, 'Poornaadhikar' had been judicially attested by several judicial verdicts."

The apex court today has sent a notice to the Uttar Pradesh government in connection with a plea filed by Lingiya Brahmin family seeking reinstatement of daily religious affairs of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi to them. The family has claimed that it has been handling the temple management before the commencement of Kashi Vishwanath Temple Act 1983.

A Bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde issued a notice to the Uttar Pradesh seeking its response over the petition.

Appearing for the family, former Bombay HC judge B H Marlapalle cited the 2014 SC judgment in Subramanian Swamy vs The state of Tamil Nadu case which held that a law passed to take over the administration and management of religious endowment is co-terminus of removal of the consequence of alleged maladministration.

The plea filed by the Brahmin family read that before the promulgation of the Act and the preceding Ordinance 20 of 1983, the ancestors of/and the petitioners had “Poornaadhikar”(complete right) of conducting Seva, Puja, Raj Bhog, and other religious affairs of the deity and controlled and managed the temple and other endowments of the deity.

“It is well documented that the petitioner and their ancestors had absolute and exclusive right to administer and manner the day to day affairs of the temple and had continued since time immemorial, which could be proven by several historical narratives, scriptures, etc. Though, it was questioned by many in the past, their right to have “Poornaadhikar” had been judicially attested by several judicial verdicts,” the plea said.

The petition further sought orders for repealing the Kashi Vishwanath Temple Act, 1983, claiming that it has run out of the course and outlived it’s utility, asking to reinstate the administration, management and conduct of religious affairs as existed prior to UP Ordinance no 20 of 1983, which was later substituted by the UP Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple Act, 1983 on October 28, 1983.

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