Amicus curiae for heredity system, but suggests cap on Srimandir servitors

Puri: The Supreme Court-appointed amicus curiae, Gopal Subramanium is of the opinion that while the heredity system of appointment of servitors should remain, there should be restrictions on the numbers of servitors at Puri Srimandir.

Following a meeting between the Srimandir Managing Committee and Subramanium at the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) office, chief administrator of the SJTA, Pradipta Mohapatra said the amicus curiae is in favour of the hereditary rights of servitors. “But Subramanium suggested that the number of servitors should be limited as per the requirement,” stated Mohapatra.

The amicus curiae also said other servitors should be given generous package, so that their livelihood is not affected, the SJTA chief administrator added.

He further said Subramanium advised that the donation or dakishna system should be stopped. ‘Hundis’ should be installed at four prominent places of the temple and the ‘Annadana Atika’ practice should be discontinued.

No one should stop devotees during ‘bahara’/’bhitrara katha’ darshan and different colour ID cards should be provided to different servitors.

A final decision will be taken after the amicus curiae submits the report to the Supreme Court, Mohapatra said.

Earlier in the day, Subramanium met Puri King Gajapati Dibyasingha Deb at the royal palace and held discussions with SJTA administrator, Puri Collector and SP as well.

“As the Gajapati rightly said we are only mere mortals in front of Lord Jagannath. But Lord Jagannath has brought us together to do the best for the temple and its devotees. We are happy to say that we are making substantial progress in that direction,” the amicus curiae said.

While there is consensus on nine proposals out of the 12 suggested by the Supreme Court, there is disagreement on the rest.

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