The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued notice to Uttar Pradesh government on a plea which sought to restore the day-to- day religious affairs of Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi to the Lingiya Brahmin family which claimed that it had been taking care of the temple management before commencement of the UP Kashi Vishwanath Temple Act 1983.
A bench headed by CJI SA Bobde considered for admission the petition which challenges the UP Kashi Vishwanath Temple Act 1983.
Senior advocate B H Marlapalle, former Bombay HC judge appeared for the family. He cited the 2014 SC judgement in Subramanian Swamy vs State of Tamil Nadu case which held that a legislation promulgated to take over the administration & management of a religious endowment is co-terminus of removal of consequence of alleged maladministration.
As per the plea filed through Advocate Sibo Sankar Mishra, the Brahmin family- the Lingiya Pandas were vested with possession and ownership rights of the idol and the endowments.
It was claimed that they have the right to administer and manage the properties accrued through ownership of original land, customs and long user.
"Ancestors of the Petitioners as members of Lingiya Brahmins have since the entrustments of the Swayambhu Jyotirlinga to them by the Lord Himself established and maintained the temple of the Lord which over time grew in fame far and wide . Since time immemorial through generations after generations the ancestors of the petitioners held the 'Poorna Adhikar' for carrying on SevaPuja and Rag-Bhog, the religious affairs of the Deity, Shri kashi Vishweshwar in the city of Varanasi,protecting and safeguarding the image of the Deity in the form of the Jyotirlinga, and receiving the religious offerings made to the Deity and managing the endowment of the Deity of the famous Temple of Adi Vishweshwaar popularly known as The Kashi Vishwanath Temple", the plea said.
The petition states that the Act has achieved its purpose, and the management can be restored to the family.
"The UP Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple Act, 1983 was promulgated to overcome the limited appalling condition of the temple and its poor administration. The purpose of the act have already achieved to its fullest and the management and maintenance of the temple has already put in place. Therefore, there is no further utility exist to sustain the said statute. This has been a settled law once an outlived its utility the same should be declared un-enforceable and nullity under law".
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