No VIPs, Only sevayats during ‘Nabajoubana Darshan’: Odisha HC

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The Orissa High Court banned people from entering the sanctum sanctorum of Lord Jagannath Temple in Puri to have the ‘Nabajauban Darshan’ of the sibling deities on Friday except the required sevaks and sevayats.

A division bench of Justices Indrajit Mahanti and D P Choudhury passed the order as an interim measure while adjudicating over a PIL on the controversial order of the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA).

SJTA had last month decided to ban public darshan of the deities inside the temple except the sevaks, sevayats and their family members.

The court made it clear that relatives and family members of the servitors will not be allowed into the sanctum sanctorum.No VIPs, Only sevayats during 'Nabajoubana Darshan' Odisha HC

The court further ordered to fix CCTV cameras at the entry and exit points of the temple and submit the footage to the court after the event.

The court made the pronouncement while conducting a hearing on a PIL seeking lifting of the ban on Nabajoubana darshan of the Lords by devotees imposed by the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA). On March 18, the SJTA had decided against allowing devotees to have darshan of the Lords on the Nabajoubana darshan day which is held a day before the Rath Yatra.

The state government had, however, in an affidavit endorsed the decision of SJTA saying the same ritual was also banned during the 1996 Nabakalebar Rath Yatra after the disturbances were witnessed in 1977 Nabakalebar Rath Yatra.

SJTA on Monday came up with yet another controversial announcement saying that along with the servitors, their family members and some VIPs would be allowed inside the temple to have the Nabajauban Darshan.

This was, however, vehemently opposed by the petitioner advocate in the Court, following which the division bench passed the interim order giving a jolt to SJTA.