Supreme Court Judgment on whether the temple is in nature of Public or Private

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The Supreme Court division bench comprising of Justice R. Banumathi and Justice R. Subhash Reddy in Shri Ram Mandir Indore v. State of Madhya Pradesh, held that Shri Ram Mandir, Indoukh is a public temple and that the suit property is vested in the Deity; and Ram Das and then Bajrang Das are only pujaris and not Mahant-Manager of the temple,

It was further held that participation of the members of the public in the Darshan, entry in Directory containing names of all public temples and no blood-relationship between the successive pujaris, are important factors for determining the public/private status of a temple.

 

The judgment follows following direction

 

  • Participation of public in Darshan

“The participation of the members of the public in the Darshan in the temple and in the daily acts of worship or in the celebrations may be a very important factor to consider in determining the character of the temple.”

 

  • No Blood-relationship between the successive pujaris

The temple should not belong to one family and that there should not be blood-relations between the successive pujaris.

 

  • Mandir property taken on lease from the Government

The land should be given in the name of Mandir for the arrangement of pooja, archana, naivedya, etc. for the public temple and the pujari shall have no right to interfere in the management of these lands as his status is only that of pujari.

 

[Shri Ram Mandir Indore v. State of Madhya Pradesh, CIVIL APPEAL NO.5043 OF 2009, decided on 27.02.2019]