On 1st September 2020, the SC heard the case of Sarika v Administrator, Mahakaleshwar Mandir Committee, Ujjain & Ors. The Bench comprised Hon’ble Justice Arun Mishra, Hon’ble Justice B.R. Gavai, and Hon’ble Justice Krishna Murari.
The SC appointed an Expert Committee consisting of experts of the Archaeological Survey of India and Geological Survey of India. This was concerning the prevention of erosion of Shivalinga in Sri Mahakaleshwar Temple at Ujjain. Subsequently, the expert committee visited the temple and concluded that the erosion of the Lingam was a continuous process.
The Court considered this matter to be of grave concern as a similar Lingam at Omkareshwar Temple had also eroded due to reckless offerings. As a consequence, it issued the following directions to prevent the erosion of the Lingam –
- The Expert Committee shall visit the temple and submit its report by 15th December 2020 to take measures to prevent erosion.
- The committee shall conduct a yearly survey and submit the report to the Court.
- The Court issued the following directions to preserve the Shivalingam:
- No devotee should rub the Shivalingam.
- The Temple Committee shall ensure that the pH value of Bhasma during Bharma Aarti is thereby improved.
- The Committee should further ensure a reduction of the weight of Mund Mala and Serpakarnahas placed on the Lingam. This is to preserve the Lingam from mechanical abrasion.
- Allowing devotees to pour only limited quality of pure milk on the Shivalingam as rubbing of curd, ghee, and honey is also a major cause of erosion.
- The entire proceedings of Puja and Archana in Garbh Griha shall be video recorded and preserved for 6 months.
- No Panchamrita shall be subsequently poured on the Shivalingam by any devotee.
- The Temple Committee shall provide pure milk from its resources to visitors and devotees. Further, the committee shall ensure that no adulterated milk is thereby poured on the Lingam.
- The Temple Committee shall provide filtered and purified water from Koti Thirty Kund to maintain the required pH level.
- The Collector shall prepare a plan of necessary repairs and improvement to carry out urgently.
- The modern additions to the temple shall be subsequently removed and a compliance report filed.
- The original work of the temple shall be duly restored.
- The Collector and Superintendent of Police of Ujjain shall ensure removal of encroachments within 500 meters of the premises.
- The performance of necessary religious rituals regularly.
The Court has decided to monitor and consider the Compliance Report in the second week of January 2021.
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