Last Updated: December 22, 2022, 15:51 IST
The court was also apprised that there are certain ancient temples, which will come within the 5 acres of surrounding land proposed to be developed along with the Banke Bihari temple. (News18 File Photo)
The Goswamis, also known as ‘sevayats’, who perform puja and ‘shringar’ at the temple, have urged the court to ensure that the fund lying in the account of the deity should not be used to buy the 5 acre land
The Allahabad High Court has directed the Uttar Pradesh authorities to submit a detailed plan with estimated expenditure for purchase of land or development of the area around the Shri Banke Bihari Temple in Vrindavan.
A scheme has been proposed by the state government to build the temple area and management. It has reference to the development of the temple area as a corridor, with purchase of five acres around the temple for facilitating ‘darshan’ and puja by the devotees.
The Goswamis, also known as ‘sevayats’, who perform puja and ‘shringar’ at the temple, have urged the court to ensure that the fund lying in the account of the Deity in the Temple should not be used to buy the said land.
On December 20, Advocate Sanjay Goswami informed the division bench of Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justice JJ Munir that the temple account has around Rs 250 crore.
It is to be noted that the entire land which will be purchased in the vicinity of the temple will be registered in the name of the deity.
Therefore, the bench opined that before it examines the plea to utilise the funds lying in the account of the deity, a detailed plan should be placed before it.
On November 28, 2022, the same bench had asked retired high court judge Justice Sudhir Narain Agarwal to visit the temple and submit a report. In his report, the retired judge mentioned the plans prepared by the state for the development of the area around the temple.
The report, however, made it clear that the existing temple will not be disturbed in the development plan and will remain at the same place.
During the course of the hearing, the court was also apprised that there are certain ancient temples, which will come within the 5 acres of surrounding land proposed to be developed along with the temple. The court ordered that those will also be protected.
The court also stressed that the rights of the ‘Sewayats’ should not be impinged in the process of development of the area around the temple.
According to the state’s scheme, besides the purchase of 5 acres, provision of other facilities such as parking area and other public amenities will be made for which the government will bear the expenses.
The court is currently looking into a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by one Anant Sharma, essentially seeking a proper scheme for maintenance and upkeep of the temple of Shri Thakur Bankey Bihari Ji Maharaj at Vrindavan.
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