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Delhi HC appoints former judge JR Midha as administrator of Kalkaji Mandir

Justice Prathiba M Singh of the Delhi high court said the mandate of the administrator will be to take all steps in the interest of devotees, pilgrims, baridaars (management) of Kalkaji Mandir
Kalkaji Mandir in south Delhi. Former Delhi high court JR Midha was appointed administrator of the temple to oversee its affairs. (HT Photo)
Updated on Sep 28, 2021 03:27 AM IST
By Richa Banka, New Delhi

The Delhi high court on Monday appointed it’s former judge JR Midha as an administrator to manage the Kalkaji Mandir in south Delhi, saying “there is a grave and imminent need to preserve the spiritual sanctity of the mandir and not allow it to be misused by unwanted elements who may convert it into a commercial enterprise”.

Justice Prathiba M Singh said the mandate of the administrator will be to take all steps in the interest of devotees, pilgrims, baridaars (management), in order to ensure their safety, as well as to preserve the sanctity of the deity and the temple.

The judge noted that the ‘baridaars’ are unable to exercise effective control to administer the temple and its premises.

Listing out the tasks for the administrator, the court said that he will take steps to remove all unauthorised occupants from the temple complex. It also said the administrator will supervise the demolition of unauthorised construction and encroachments, which will be carried out by the South civic body or the Delhi Development Authority, and the Delhi Police.

“The entire mandir complex shall be under the direct supervision and control of the administrator.…Owing to the forthcoming Navaratra season from October 7 to October 15, 2021, the administrator shall take immediate steps to create all necessary facilities for the devotees and pilgrims, including - demarcated queuing up areas; maintenance of discipline so as to avoid over-crowding or a stampede like situation; proper access to the sanctum sanctorum; potable water facilities and at least one toilet complex shall be refurbished on an urgent basis to be made available for devotees and pilgrims..,” the judge said in a 77-page judgment.

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The court also said that the administrator shall make urgent provision for dispensing masks /sanitisers to the extent possible, while also taking steps so that baridaars, devotees, authorised occupants and all visitors of the temple and those present in the premises follow Covid-19 related norms.

To be sure, the judge said this is an interim order, and added that the matter will now be heard on October 27.

Additionally, justice Singh also ordered that a medical centre with at least one doctor and two paramedics be set up. It said that immediately a bank account is opened, details of which would be put up in the Mandir premises.

“All such devotees who wish to donate for the redevelopment of the Mandir would be entitled to make payments in the said bank accounts, by any online mode,” the court said.

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