Odisha government has submitted to Orissa High Court the report of the Justice PK Mohanty Commission which has made several recommendations for ensuring the safety and security of the lakhs of devotees visiting Sri Jagannath Temple in Puri.
While the report was submitted in a sealed cover on Friday, the state government, however, failed to submit the action taken report (ATR) as sought by high court last month while adjudicating in a PIL concerning the issue.
Directing the government to submit the ATR within a week, the division bench of Justices AK Rath and BR Sarangi posted the matter to July 18. Retired judge of Orissa High Court, Justice PK Mohanty, was appointed by the state government to head the one-man commission to probe the November, 2006, stampede inside Puri temple in which about six persons died.
Justice Mohanty was also asked to make recommendations for enhancing the safety and security of devotees at the temple. He had submitted the report along with his recommendations in 2009 and the same was subsequently tabled in the Assembly and accepted by the state government.
Social and political activist Chitta Ranjan Mohanty had filed the PIL questioning the government’s motive while alleging at the same time that it had completely ignored the recommendations of the judicial commission.
The petitioner had alleged that due to improper security management by the government, the historical marvel of the country was now under terrorists’ scanner. The petition also raised questions about alleged ‘mismanagement’ and ‘maladministration’ by the temple authorities in disciplining the priests and servitors, for which there has been criticism from both inside and outside the state.
The parties concerned have been directed to submit reports on the current status of construction.