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Delhi HC appoints retd judge as Kalkaji Mandir administrator

It said there is a “grave and imminent need” to preserve the spiritual sanctity of the temple and not allow the same to be misused “by unwanted elements who may convert it into a commercial enterprise”.

Observing that the management of Shri Kalkaji Mandir is unable to exercise effective control to administer the religious place, the Delhi High Court Monday appointed Justice (retd) J R Midha as its administrator. It said there is a “grave and imminent need” to preserve the spiritual sanctity of the temple and not allow the same to be misused “by unwanted elements who may convert it into a commercial enterprise”.

The court said the mandate of the administrator shall be to take necessary steps in the interest of devotees, pilgrims and baridaars to ensure safety and security and preserve “integrity and sanctity of the deity and the Mandir, which is of utmost historical importance to the people of Delhi”.

It passed a slew of directions to various authorities in an order on a bunch of petitions related to disputes among those running the temple. “The disputes are of various hues and primarily relate to collection of offerings/donations, their division and distribution among baridaars. Thus, there is a need to streamline the manner in which offerings and donations are made…,” said Justice Prathiba M Singh in the order.

Midha will be assisted by advocate Manmeet Arora.

Transferring all civil cases pending before district courts to itself, the court said enormous judicial time is being spent in adjudication of applications and proceedings in some of these suits.

It also asked architect Goonmeet Singh Chauhan to submit a redevelopment plan for the Kalkaji Mandir and the entire surrounding complex.

“Once the unauthorised occupants, unauthorised constructions and encroachments are removed, within the next one week, steps shall be initiated towards re-development of the entire Mandir and the complex,” said the court.

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