Judicial panel on Puri temple reforms extends deadline for submission of affidavits

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Cuttack: Justice BP Das Commission, appointed by the Odisha government to suggest reforms in management of Puri Sri Jagannath temple, has extended the deadline of submission of affidavits to December 20.

The Commission had earlier set the deadline on December 4 for submission of affidavits. However, considering more than 350 affidavits submitted on single day on Saturday, the Commission decided to extend the deadline to December 20.

To receive affidavits from the people, the Commission has put up 32drop boxes in the state including 30 in the collector’s office in each district and two drop boxes in the office of the Sub Collector, Bhubaneswar and in the office of the Commission in Cuttack.

Talking to media persons after the first meeting of the Commission held here on November 17, Justice Bimal Prasad Das had said the Commission in its notice had invited people to submit their affidavits suggesting reforms in the temple management and fix the date for the meeting which was held today to discuss the manner which the Commission would begin its work.

“But after getting overwhelming response from the people through affidavits, the Commission decided to extend the deadline to receive more suggestions through more affidavits,” he told the media on Saturday.

Expressing happiness over receiving about more affidavits from outside Odisha and foreign countries through e-mail, Justice Das said the suggestions mentioned in these affidavits would immensely help the Commission in its work.

It may be mentioned that taking strong note of the Niladri Bije fiasco on July 17, the state government had set up a judicial commission headed by former judge of the Orissa High Court Justice Bimal Prasad Das on July 21 to suggest reforms in management of Puri Sri Jagannath temple.

Announcing the decision of the state government, Law minister Arun Sahoo had said the Commission would give suggestions on disciplined rituals, security arrangements, disciplined darshan for devotees, training and education to servitors, conservation of heritage and propagation of Jagannath culture.

Besides, former chief administrator of the Shri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) Mahimohan Tripathy will assist the Commission in its work, the minister had said.

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