SC seeks Bengal govt response on Kalighat temple

New Delhi: The Supreme Court today sought the stands of the Centre and the West Bengal government on a plea for permitting devotees to enter the sanctum sanctorum of the Kolkata Kalighat temple to pay obeisance to its deity.

A vacation bench of justices Deepak Verma and S J Mukhopadhyay sought responses of the two governments, issuing them notices on an appeal by the Temple Committee against a Calcutta High Court`s order, banning the entry of devotees in the temple. The high court on April 20 had restricted the entry into the Kali temple and had ordered that no visitors, including VIPs will be allowed into the sanctum sanctorum of the temple.

Pleading a stay on the high court order, the Temple committee submitted that the ban on the entry of devotees is creating a law and order problem. In a slew of directions, the high court earlier had ordered that only two priests designated by the temple authorities would be present within the sanctum sanctorum.

The court had also ruled that no one should be allowed to accept offerings of money or valuables from devotees. The order was passed on a petition to the court on malpractices and harassment to the temple visitors. Recognised as an Adi Shakti Peeth, the temple is believed to be more than 200 years old.