Updated: September 30, 2021 5:14:36 am
SUPREME COURT on Wednesday sought the Tirupati temple management’s reply to a devotee’s plea that “wrongful and irregular procedure” was being followed in the daily puja rituals at the famed shrine.
A bench headed by Chief Justice of India N V Ramana was initially reluctant to entertain the matter and said, “This is a Constitutional court and not a ‘kuchehri’ (lower court) where you can say anything… can we interfere into it as to when and how puja has to be conducted?”
The bench, also comprising Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli, subsequently, however, gave the counsel for the temple management one week time to inform what had happened to a representation made by petitioner Srivari Daadaa to the temple authorities.
“Learned counsel appearing on behalf of the respondent [Tirupati Tirumala Devasthanam] prays for and is granted one week’s time to get instructions about the representation dated March 18, 2020 sent by the petitioner-in person to the respondent. List the matter after one week,” the bench said.
During the hearing, CJI Ramana for a while interacted with the petitioner in his mother tongue Telugu. Advising patience, the CJI said, “We are all devotees of Balaji and expect that all rituals will be conducted according to the traditions.”
The petitioner had earlier approached Andhra Pradesh High Court, which dismissed his plea on January 5, saying the “procedure of conducting rituals is the exclusive domain of the Devasthanam and cannot be a matter of adjudication unless it impacts secular or civil rights of others”.
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