[Loss of Livelihood Due To COVID] ‘If Possible, Provide Financial Aid To Sarala Temple Sevayats/Sevaks’, Orissa High Court To State Govt. [Read Order]

first_imgNews Updates[Loss of Livelihood Due To COVID] ‘If Possible, Provide Financial Aid To Sarala Temple Sevayats/Sevaks’, Orissa High Court To State Govt. [Read Order] Sparsh Upadhyay29 Oct 2020 8:27 AMShare This – xThe Orissa High Court on Wednesday (28th October) directed the Commissioner of Endowments to consider and dispose of the representation of Sevayats and other similarly situated Sevaks of the Maa Sarala Thakurani Temple and if possible, extend financial assistance.The Bench of Justice S. Panda and Justice S. K. Panigrahi was hearing a plea seeking a direction to the State of Odisha and…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Orissa High Court on Wednesday (28th October) directed the Commissioner of Endowments to consider and dispose of the representation of Sevayats and other similarly situated Sevaks of the Maa Sarala Thakurani Temple and if possible, extend financial assistance.The Bench of Justice S. Panda and Justice S. K. Panigrahi was hearing a plea seeking a direction to the State of Odisha and its instrumentalities to take steps in extending financial assistance to the Sevayats of Maa Sarala Thakurani, in the district of Jagatsinghpur, Odisha because of striving due to COVID-19 pandemic.The plea also prayed before the Court that public darshan of the Deity “Maa Sarala Thakurani” be allowed with due restrictions of social distancingBackgroundThe grievance of the petitioners was that the petitioners are the Sevaks belonging to different categories and the Sevaks/Sevayats are being entrusted with the Seva Puja of the deity MaaSaralaThakurani.It was submitted that the Sevaks of Maa Sarala Thakurani temple have completely devoted their lives to the service of the deity “Maa Sarala Thakurani” and they are maintaining their livelihood out of the offerings made to them as personal gifts, donations by the devotees or public while having visit and darshan to the istadevi i.e. “Maa Sarala Thakurani” beside their offering and donations to the Temple Trust Fund.The counsel for the petitioners submitted that the State Government issued an advisory on religious institutions regarding restrictions for access of general public to religious place due to COVID-19 pandemic and the same restrictions are being extended from time to time and are still in force till date.It was argued that the Darshan of the deity is completely seized thereby making no alternate arrangement for the livelihood and sustenance of the petitioners and other similarly situated sevaks of the Maa Sarala Thakurani Temple.It was further submitted that the sevayats manage their families from the donations given by devotees, but as the temple is closed, they have a tough time to maintain their livelihood.The opposite parties have completely failed to provide any financial assistance to the Sevaks towards performing daily Seva puja of the deity despite several representations.Court’s OrderConsidering the facts and submissions of the counsels for the parties, the Court was of the opinion that since the respondents have provided financial assistance to the Sevayats of the different religious institution by considering their representations, the representation of the present petitioners should also be considered.In this context, the Court said,”This Court disposes of the Writ Petition with a direction to the petitioners to make a representation to the Opp. Party No.4-Commissioner of Endowments, Odisha within a period of two weeks from today and if such a representation is filed, the opposite party no.4 shall consider and dispose of the said representation of the petitioners and other similarly situated Sevaks of the Mass Sarala Thakurani Temple, in accordance with the law, after affording opportunities of hearing to the parties concerned and provide financial assistance, if possible, at the earliest.”However, the Court directed that above exercise shall be completed by the opposite party no.4 within a period of four weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this orderIt may be noted that the Orissa High Court on Monday (05th October) had directed the State Government to consider the opening of temples, in a graded manner, according to modalities it may decide, as per its assessment, from place to place and from time to time.The Bench of Chief Justice Mohammad Rafiq and Justice Dr B.R. Sarangi was hearing the Writ Petitions filed by the petitioners seeking direction to the opposite parties to extend financial relief to the Sevayat/Servitors of registered temples for the period of lock-down.The Court had ordered,”The Court directed the opposite parties-State Government and the Endowment Commissioner to examine the grievance of the petitioners on their representation submitted along with the copy of this order and take a view on their grievance with regard to financial assistance/ration kits, or in the alternative, for the opening of temples, in a graded manner, according to modalities it may decide, as per its assessment, from place to place and time to time, as per earlier orders of this Court, as expeditiously as possible, but not later than eight weeks from the date of copy of this order is produced before the authority.”Notably, on 31st July, the Supreme Court had disposed of the appeal in the Nishikant Dubey Case by requesting the State Government of Jharkhand to find out a possibility for darshan, which ought to have been done for the general public as is being done in Ujjain, another Jyotirligam. The Court also suggested to the state of Jharkhand to find out a possibility of limited entry of general public in temples, churches and mosques in the State.In the aforesaid case, the bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra had observed that, in all religious places, entry of a limited number of persons/devotees should have been allowed as is being done throughout India.Click Here To Download Order[Read Order]Next Storylast_img

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