The Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that the Badve and Utpat families can no longer claim exclusive ancestral rights over the earnings of the historical Vitthal Rukmini temple in Pandharpur, the most important religious institution of the state. The apex court’s verdict in the 40-year-old case was announced on Wednesday.
The state government had tried to take over the functioning of the temple in 1968 following the recommendations of the B D Nadkarni committee. However, this was challenged by the families in various courts, which led to a protracted legal battle.
The issue of the earnings and administration of the temple has been a tricky one given the high emotions it evoked among the people. The apex court’s decision has been welcomed by many who feel there would be transparency in the temple’s functioning now.