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Jagannath temple case: SC appoints senior advocate Ranjit Kumar as amicus

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The Wednesday appointed senior and former as curiae to assist it in a matter related to administration of temple in

The apex court had on November 30 last year accepted the request of senior to relieve him as curiae in the matter.

During the hearing on Wednesday, the issue of appointing a new in the case arose before a bench headed by Justice A K Sikri.

The bench requested Kumar, who was present in the court, whether he would assist it as an amicus in the case.

Kumar agreed.

The bench has posted the matter for hearing on February 5.

An advocate, who has filed an application in the court seeking intervention in the case, told the bench that person having knowledge about temple should be appointed as an amicus.

The appearing for told the apex court that "wild allegations" were levelled against Subramanium in an application filed by an following which he had sought to be relieved from the role. "Unfounded allegations were levelled against in the application."

To this, the bench said, "What are those allegations? We will see".

However, the who had filed the application said his plea was dismissed earlier by the court.

He said he had "simply" said in his application that salary of 'sevaks' (staff) of the temple was not given since July 5 last year and it should be released immediately.

He said some concrete steps were required to be taken in the matter since violence had erupted there in October last year.

Nine policemen were injured in the violence at during a 12-hour bandh called by a socio-cultural organisation protesting the introduction of a queue system for devotees visiting the temple, police had said.

The bench said applications filed by other stakeholders in the matter would also be considered on February 5.

On June 6 last year, the court had appointed Subramanium as an amicus curiae to assist it in the matter in which a plea was filed highlighting the difficulties faced by the devotees at temple and their alleged harassment or exploitation by the 'sevaks' of the temple.

On October 10, the apex court had said that no should enter "with weapons and shoes" after it was alleged before it that during the October 3 violence at the shrine, cops had entered there with boots and guns.

The government's had termed the allegations as "absolutely false" and said no had entered the temple as the incident had taken place at office of Shree administration which is situated around 500 metres from the main temple.

In July last year, the top court had directed the management to consider allowing every visitor, irrespective of faith, to offer prayers to the deity.

However, it had said that it would be subject to regulatory measures regarding dress code and giving an appropriate declaration.

It had directed the Centre to constitute a committee to look into the issues raised by the of regarding alleged exploitation of devotees, abolishment of hereditary Sevaks and appointment of Sevaks in the temple.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, January 09 2019. 17:05 IST