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Shri Ram Janki Mandir public or private: Madhya Pradesh HC remands matter back to Jabalpur collector, details

The court noted a glaring omission after giving careful consideration to the arguments made and going over the orders issued by the relevant authorities: "It is fairly conceded that none of the Authorities have not (sic) taken the pains to decide as to whether Shri Ram Janki Mandir situated in village Budrai, Tahsil Sihora, District Jabalpur is a private Trust or public Trust."

In a recent order, the Madhya Pradesh High Court in Jabalpur remitted a matter back to the Collector for further assessment of whether Shri Ram Janki Mandir, located in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, is a private or public trust.

The bench presided over by Justice GS Ahluwalia, was considering a case filed under Article 226 of the Indian Constitution challenging the legitimacy of numerous directives concerning the handling of the said land, LawBeat reported.

Advocate Ram Prasad Khare, representing the interests of the private trust associated with the Shri Ram Janki Mandir, contended that the land in question had been legitimately granted to the trust by the petitioners’ grandfather. Furthermore, it was argued that “The mother of the petitioner was appointed as Sarwarahkar (person entrusted to perform whatever is necessary for the deity’s service and protection of their property) and after her death, the petition is being prosecuted by her legal representative.”

The petitioners stated that the Collector’s designation as the manager in revenue records was erroneous as such a position is normally designated for public trusts, but the Shri Ram Janki Mandir is a private trust. They further emphasised the lack of consideration for the nature of the trust in the decisions taken by the Collector, Additional Commissioner, and Board of Revenue.

Notably, the LawBeat report says that government lawyer Mohan Sausarkar, representing the state, was directed to determine from the orders of the Collector, Jabalpur, Additional Commissioner of Jabalpur Division, Jabalpur, and the Board of Revenue “whether any finding with regard to the nature of the trust has been given or not?”

The court noted a glaring omission after giving careful consideration to the arguments made and going over the orders issued by the relevant authorities: “It is fairly conceded that none of the Authorities have not (sic) taken the pains to decide as to whether Shri Ram Janki Mandir situated in village Budrai, Tahsil Sihora, District Jabalpur is a private Trust or public Trust.”

In turn, the court struck aside the orders issued by the Collector, Additional Commissioner, and Board of Revenue.

To ensure a fair reconsideration of the dispute, the court remanded the matter back to Jabalpur Collector “to decide the question afresh after giving a specific finding as to whether Shri Ram Janki Mandir situated in village Budrai, Tahsil Sihora, District Jabalpur is a public Trust or a private Trust.”

The court stressed that if the trust is deemed to be private, “then in the light of the gift deed executed by Shri Bhaiyalal by which the entire property was gifted to the Deity, it is directed that Shri Ram Janki Deity would be the owner of the entire property and each and every penny of the same shall be utilised for the Deity only.

It added that both, the money and the property shall not be utilised for personal purposes, and Sarwarahkar would be under obligation to submit weekly accounts before the District Judge, Jabalpur.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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