Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

The Supreme Court has pulled up the Odisha government for reportedly not complying with its earlier order regarding the appointment of a full-time administrator for managing the affairs of Lord Jagannath temple in Puri.

A bench comprising Justice MR Shah and CT Ravikumar on Wednesday directed the State government to file a detailed status report on compliance with its direction issued in 2019 for the management of Srimandir.

In its directive, the Court rejected the plea by the Odisha government seeking more time for the appointment of a full-time Chief Administrator of the Srimandir managing committee. 

The State government had requested the court to extend the time period till December 2023. 

“As of today, we are not aware which directions are complied with and which are not. Let a detailed status report on compliance on various directions issued by this court be submitted within a period of four weeks from today. A copy of the report be given to the amicus in advance,” the bench said.

Earlier, the Court had directed the government on November 4, 2019 to appoint a full-time Chief Administrator for the Srimandir managing committee soon instead of a part-time Administrator.

Meanwhile, Amicus curiae Ranjit Kumar informed the Court that the Odisha Government had earlier assured to record 64,000 acres of land in the name of Sri Jagannath temple. However, there has been no development in this regard yet.

The bench also wanted to know about the expenditure of Rs 5 crore towards the welfare of the servitor’s children. The amount was sanctioned following the Court’s order.

The next hearing of the matter has been scheduled to be held on May 1.