Estate Of Lord Jagannath Mahaprabhu Bije, Puri Vested In The Temple Management Committee

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Supreme Court in its recent  judgment Sri Jagannath Temple Managing Committee v. Siddha Math decided on 16th December 2015 held that ‘amrutamanohi’ properties under the Lord Jagannath Temple at Puri  cannot be called as ‘Trust Estates’ under section 2(oo) of the Orissa Estates Abolition Act, 1951. The Apex Court set aside the judgment of Orissa High Court and struck down the first part of proviso of Section 2(oo) of the Orissa Estates Abolition Act, 1951 as being  violativeof Temple Act, 1955. Earlier the High Court of Orissa gave decision in favour of respondent Math which claimed rights over temple lands by virtue of being an intermediary. Apex Court after going through the concerned statutory provisions came to conclusion that judgment of the High Court in its decisionerred, as it was passed in ignorance of Sri Jagannnath Temple Act, 1955. Hon’ble Supreme Court found the proviso of Section 2(oo) of the Orissa Estates Abolition Act, 1951 partially in contravention to provisions under Temple Act, 1955 and by applying the rule of harmonious construction struck down the first part of the proviso Section 2(oo) of the OEA Act, 1955 considering it to be necessary for the operation of both the statutes.

Thus  Supreme Court rejected the claim of  Math being an intermediary by the virtue of OEA Act,1955 and held that Math did not have any right to claim over the lands held by temple and subsequently set aside the judgement of Orissa High Court  giving thejudgment in the favour of  Temple Managing Committee.

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