JUNE 9, 2018
A day after the Supreme Court asked the Puri district judge to submit a report on the alleged mismanagement of Jagannath temple, the temple administration on Saturday decided to transfer the gold and silver donated by devotees to a bank locker.
Responding to a writ petition over the alleged harassment of devotees by temple officials, the SC had directed the temple administration to ensure that no priest directly collects the offerings from the devotees and all the donations are accounted for and properly utilised.
Temple’s chief administrator PK Jena said they would ask the priests not to collect anything from the devotees.
Soon after the top court order, the Sri Jagannath Temple Administration decided to shift the gold and silver offerings made by the devotees from the temple’s donation box to a locker in the State Bank of India (SBI).
Temple’s chief administrator PK Jena said they would ask the temple priests not to collect anything from the devotees.
Temple officials said they would collect the offerings from the donation box, which was installed at the temple in 1983, and transfer the same to the SBI locker once or twice every two months.
The temple management is under fire over the loss of key of one of the treasuries of the temple.
The disappearance of the keys to the treasury of the richest temple in Odisha came to light after the temple management committee held a meeting soon after the inspection of Ratna Bhandar (the treasure trove of Lord Jagannath) on April 4 by a 16-member team.
Though the team could do inspection of the outer chamber of the Ratna Bhandar and found cracks on its roof, the members could not enter the inner chamber as the keys given to the inspection team by temple administration for opening the inner chamber did not belong to the locks.
The state government has now ordered a probe by retired High Court judge Raghubir Das. Opposition BJP is now planning to lodge FIRs in all police stations of the state over the disappearance of the keys.