Blink News Network

Bhubaneswar, Jan 15: The Odisha government is again caught on the wrong foot as it is now seen openly defying the earlier orders of the Supreme Court relating to the temple administration reforms. The court in the Mrinalini Padhi versus Union of India has passed several directions to the state earlier.

In one of such temple reform measures, the two-judge bench of the apex court had on November 4, 2019 asked the Odisha government to appoint a full time Chief Administrator of the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA). It also directed the government to do it as soon as possible and also refrain from giving the charge as an additional portfolio to some official.

The SC in it order dated November 4, 2019 (point No-23) had said, “Considering the overall situation and the facts, we direct the state government to depute full time Chief Administrator, not by the way of additional charge forthwith.”

However more than two months have passed but the orders of the apex court is yet to be fully complied with by the government ruled by Naveen Patnaik. The state is still managing the temple affairs through a part time Chief Administrator-Krishan Kumar. The young IAS office is now seen busy managing two portfolios-one as the Works Secretary and other as the Chief Administrator of SJTA, in gross violation of the SC order.

The word ‘forthwith’ as described by the court orders also means immediately. However the Supreme Court orders seems to be blatantly flouted by the Odisha government as it has failed to act on it even after more than 64 days.

The Congress party smells a rat in this case. Odisha Congress spokesperson Satya Prakash Nayak Wednesday claimed this defiance of the SC order and the double timing of Kumar could have been intentionally planned to ensure the ‘PC Culture’ (percentage raj) of the government.

“This exposed the dual face of the Chief Minister. At one side he boasts about being a devotee of lord Jagannth and on the other side he fails to manage the temple affair as per the directions of the SC. The double timing of Kumar raises suspicion of misuse of public funds,” he said.

He added that now the government has dedicated fund for temple corridor building which could be misused if the same spate continues. He demanded that the SC directions on temple reforms should be complied fully by the state government.


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