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Odishatv Bureau

Cuttack: The Orissa High Court today directed the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) to open the Jagamohan, the hall facing the Sanctum Sanctorum in Puri Jagannath Temple (Srimandir) for devotees by April 16.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Vineet Saran has ordered the temple and the  district administration to open the Jagamohan (prayer hall) for general darshan as it has been kept out of bounds of devotees since the Archaeological Survey of India  (ASI) took up its repair works two years ago on January 27, 2016.

The Court rejected the SJTA's plea to keep the Jagamohan closed till August 1 following which temple chief administrator (ritual), Pradeep Das appeared before the bench personally.

The court has directed the SJTA, Puri district administration to inform about the action taken on the matter and has slated the next hearing on April 19, advocate Ashok Mohapatra said.

On March 6 earlier this year, the ASI informed the Court that it has completed the repair works of Jagamohan; however the temple administration said that it would only allow public into Jagamohan after ASI files a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) on completion of its repair works.

Besides, the Court has also approved one of the suggestions mentioned in the clause 3(K) by Justice BP Das Commission on Srimandir Reforms that no one other than servitors who have rituals to perform inside ‘Garbha Gruha’ will be allowed beyond the ‘Bhitara Katha.’

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