Supreme Court: In a bid to prevent the deterioration of Shivlinga at Mahakaleshwar Temple, Ujjain, the 3-judge bench of Arun Mishra, BR Gavai and Krishna Murari, JJ has given the following directions:

  1. Any devotee should do no rubbing of the Shivalingam.
  2. The pH value of Bhasma during the Bhasma Aarti is to be improved.
  3. The weight of Mund Mala and Serpakarnahas has to be further reduced to preserve the Shivalingam from mechanical abrasion.

“The Temple Committee to find out a way and consider whether it is necessary to use the Metal Mund Mala on the Shivalingam, or there can be a way out to use Mund Mala and Serpakarnahas   without   touching   the   Shivalingam. Possibility of further reducing weight may also   be   found   out   to   prevent mechanical abrasion.”

  1. Pouring of only a limited quantity of pure milk should be allowed by as the rubbing of curd, ghee, honey on the Shivalingam by the devotees is also a cause of erosion.  Whereas in the traditional puja to be done on behalf of the temple, all pure materials can be used.
  2. Poojaries, Janeupati, Khutpati, Purohits, and their authorized representatives to strictly ensure that no visitor or devotee rub the Shivalingam at any cost.

“If it is done by any devotee, accompanying Poojari or Purohit shall be responsible for not stopping the rubbing. No rubbing of Shivalingam to be done by anyone except during traditional Puja and Archana performed on behalf of the temple.”

  1. The entire proceedings of Puja and Archana in Garbh Griha to be video recorded 24 hours and be preserved at least for six months. If any violation is found by any Poojari, Purohit, let the Temple Committee take suitable action against that Poojari or Purohit, as considered appropriate.
  2. No Panchamrita to be poured on Shivalingam by any devotee. It may be used only during traditional Puja and Archana of the Shivlingam.
  3. The Temple Committee shall provide pure milk from its resources to the visitors and devotees for offering and make arrangements for that. The Committee should ensure that no impure or adulterated milk is offered to Shivalingam and concerned Poojari/ Purohit to ensure compliance.

The Court further directed the Committee to

  • do a yearly survey and submit a report to this Court.
  • provide water from Koti Thirth Kund filtered and purified and further maintain the required pH value.

More Directions:

  • Let the CBRI, Roorkee visit the temple, if necessary, and submit a project report as per its proposal dated 17.09.2019. CBRI, Roorkee, is directed to submit a project report regarding structural stability within six months. A sum of Rs. 41.30 Lakhs, as required by it, shall be paid by the Central Government as early as possible.
  • The details of necessary repairs, maintenance, and improvement be worked out and carried out forthwith after the Collector has prepared a comprehensive plan for this purpose with the help of the Superintendent Engineer and available Architect. The State Government shall sanction fund immediately. A suitable plan and estimate should be prepared within four weeks, and necessary repair and maintenance work be carried out urgently.
  • The original work in the temple is required to be restored and the restoration work concerning eyesore painting has to be done by 15th December,2020.

“The Temple Committee is directed to ensure in future not to permit or resort to such painting and covering of the original work, objected by the Expert Committee. Let a report be submitted to this Court in this regard by 15th December, 2020.”

  • Further, the Collector and Superintendent of Police of Ujjain has to ensure that encroachment within 500 mtrs. of the area of the temple premises are removed by 15th December, 2020, as suggested by the Experts Committee.
  • Concerning the preservation and maintenance of Chandranageshwar Temple, a comprehensive plan be prepared and implemented, and be submitted to this Court for information.
  • If any area is slippery in Garbh Griha, the Temple Committee to ensure that the needful is done.

The Court has listed the matter for further monitoring and consideration of the Compliance Report in the second week of January 2021.

[Sarika v. Administrator, Mahakaleshwar Mandir Committee, Ujjain, 2020 SCC OnLine SC 704, decided on 01.09.2020]

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