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Saswat Singhdeo

Puri: A day after arriving in Odisha, Supreme Court-appointed amicus curiae Ranjit Kumar today held a meeting with the managing committee of Puri Srimandir.

After reaching Puri, the amicus curiae first visited Srimandir to seek the blessings of the holy 'Trinity' and later held discussions with Gajapati Maharaj Dibyasingha Deb, who said that reforms are necessary in administrative and matters related to servitors.

"While all the arrangements are good in Puri Srimandir, there is scope for improvement to make them better," the amicus curiae said.

"Odisha govt took over management of Srimandir in 1960 but it didn't pay due attention towards issues plaguing the shrine," Gajapati Maharaj said.

The meeting was also attended by Chief Administrator of Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA), Srimandir public relations officer, and Law department officials.

"Discussions were held on amendment proposed under Jagannath Temple Act for which a sub committee has been set up," advocate of Puri temple administration Sanjay Kumar Das said.

Sources said the amicus curie is likely to discuss several issues like grievances over abolition of hereditary appointment of servitors, prohibition of collection of money for 'Annadan Atika' from devotees and amendment of Shree Jagannath Temple Act, 1954.

"Managing committee, nijogs and temple administration will take final decision on donations. Everyone wants hereditary appointment of servitors to continue," a servitor Ananta Tiadi said

The amicus curiae will submit a report of his findings to the Supreme Court before February 27.

Senior advocate Priya Hingorani, who has been appointed by the Supreme Court to assist the amicus curiae had earlier visited Puri on Wednesday and held discussions with the stakeholders.

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