SARIKA Vs. ADMINISTRATOR, MAHAKALESHWAR MANDIR COMMITTEE, UJJAIN
LAWS(SC)-2020-9-4
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
Decided on September 01,2020

SARIKA Appellant
VERSUS
Administrator, Mahakaleshwar Mandir Committee, Ujjain Respondents

JUDGEMENT

ARUN MISHRA, J. - (1.)This Court is monitoring the compliance of the judgment and order passed by this Court in Civil Appeal No. 4676/2018 on 02.05.2018. We have appointed an Expert Committee consisting of experts of Archaeological Survey of India and Geological Survey of India concerning the prevention of erosion of Shivalinga in Shri Mahakaleshwar Temple at Ujjain. The Expert Team visited Ujjain on 19.01.2019. Its Report indicates that there was erosion of Shivalinga after the last inspection, and it is a continuing process. The last inspection was made earlier in 2018. The time gap was short when the inspection was made. As such, the extent of further erosion was not measured. However, the facts remain that there was some erosion of the Shivalingam. We have vide order dated 19.08.2020 called for the Action Taken Report from the Temple Committee. The Temple Committee has submitted the response to the various measures pointed out by the Committee of the Experts in the inspection report dated 19.01.2020. Since it has been noted that the deterioration and erosion of Lingam is a continuing process, the photographs of July 2020 indicate that there was further erosion of the Lingam. A patch of Shivlinga towards the side of the deity of Shri Kartikeyan is quite visible. The matter is of grave concern as due to reckless offerings, the Lingam of Omkareshwar Temple was destroyed. The Report indicates that the pH value of Bhasma Aarti stands at 10.51, which is required to be improved and is reactive to Cryptocrystalline siliceous cementing material of orthoquartzite at room temperature and causing deterioration in Jyotirlingam. Sanitation and drainage were required to be improved. There was a mechanical erosion also of the Lingam due to the weight of Mund Mala and Serpakarnahas. Though their weight has been reduced to half, mechanical abrasion takes place due to their existing weight. It was also suggested that the rubbing of the Lingam by the devotees be strictly banned. It was also reported that there was modern style construction made in the temple premises, which needs to be removed. It was also pointed out that the modern construction within the temple premises was in progress, which was required to be stopped and removed. The necessity was also felt to restore the original work. The walls were painted with colours, which was giving a bad look to the ancient heritage place. There were additions in the form of eyesore painting inside the temple, which were yet to be removed. It was reported that ghee, milk, curd, and honey are regular in the offering. The Temple Management Committee has decided to provide pure and natural offering material to pilgrims. There was a necessity for a periodical review of the remedial measures.
(2.)The stand of the Temple Committee is that during Bhasma Aarti, the cloth is covered on Shivalinga and is cleaned with RO water after that. They are regulating the entry into the Garbh Griha, and during the COVID pandemic, no access is permitted. They have been restoring the original work, which is in progress and will be completed within three months. Concerning eyesore paintings, their removal is in the process and would be completed within three months. The Temple Committee has decided to meet monthly to do a review.
(3.)A Report dated 28.07.2019 indicated that Chandranageshwar Temple in the premises was also not in good shape, and repair work was required. Its roof has become weak.
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