Chh HC | Offerings made by worshippers to deity not property of priests

Chhattisgarh High Court

Chhattisgarh High Court: The Bench of Goutam Bhaduri, J. declared that the priests had no right to claim from the offerings that were been bestowed upon the deity by the worshippers.

The petitioners who were the priests of a temple had challenged an order whereby the dissolution of the trust committee of the temple was ordered. They contended that their ancestors had made the Maha Maya Mandir Trust from their own income 300 years ago the future expenses were accordingly born by them following which the petitioners shall get all rights and control over the said trust inclusive of the offerings to the deity. It was further pleaded that the priest for the worship of Mandir may be appointed from the family of the applicant alone and thus the 10% amount of the offering to be given to them was highly misdirected by the previous Court.

Considering the facts of the case the Court stated that to offer a Puja in the Mandir to the deity by priest would not automatically envelop the offering made to the deity to be the property of the priests and thus the offers that were made by the worshipers were to the deity and not the priests. Accordingly, the circuitous route to have a right over the offerings being made to the deity through the priests cannot be given effect to.[Shivwanath Jogi v. Ganesh Bajpai, 2019 SCC OnLine Chh 2, decided on 02-01-2019]

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