CUTTACK: In a significant order, the Orissa High Court on Friday rejected the writ petitions of father-son servitor duo Kasinath Das Mohapatra and Jayakrushna Das Mohapatra who had challenged their suspension by the Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) over Brahma Parivartan bunglings.
A single judge bench of the High Court comprising Justice A K Ratha heard both the parties and perused the related documents of the case. Justice Rath observed that the order of suspension pending inquiry was legally justified and accordingly, disallowed the prayer of the petitioners.
After chaos inside the temple led to inordinate delay in the Brahma Parivartan rituals of the deities last month, the SJTA had suspended the Daitapati duo on June 28 invoking Section 21-B of the Sri Jagannath (Administration) Temple Act, 1954. The two were held responsible for the chaos during the rituals which resulted in the delay.
They were also slapped issued showcause notices under Section 21-A of the Act and asked to reply within 30 days failing which SJTA had threatened to take disciplinary action against them as per law.
Subsequently, the two moved the High Court challenging the SJTA decision. They had termed the suspension illegal and arbitrary stating that they were not given opportunity to present their case before the administration. Though showcause was issued against them by the temple administration, the father-son duo said they were suspended even before they submitted their replies or any hearing.
The High Court order comes two days after another Daitapati Kalijuga Artatrana Pratihari was suspended for allowing a woman devotee atop the chariot of Lord Jagannath. A Badagrahi, Jagannath Swain Mohapatra, has also been served a showcause notice by SJTA since he is accused of allowing Pratihari to take the woman atop the chariot.