Only servitors allowed for Nabajouban Darshan – High Court

The Odisha High Court on Thursday ordered that only servitors, associated with the Sri Jagannath temple rituals, will be allowed to have Nabajouban Darshan of the newly carved idols of the deities on Friday.

The court made it clear that relatives and family members of the servitors will not be allowed into the sanctum sanctorum.

Considering the submission, the division bench comprising Justice I Mohanty and Justice DP Chowdhury directed the temple administration to ensure strict implementation of the decision and also instructed the authorities to install CCTV cameras at the entry and exit points. The footage of the cameras should be submitted to court later, the bench directed.

The observations came in response to a PIL filed by one Abhisek Das challenging the SJTA decision of not allowing the public to have the Darshan this year.

The petitioner, Abhisek Das, had challenged the SJTA’s decision in the High Court and had stated that it was the responsibility of government to provide devotees with an opportunity to have Nabajoubana darshan of the Lords and such a decision to deprive lakhs of devotees of the opportunity of darshan would hurt their religious feelings and sentiments.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) had announced that VIPs and officers would be allowed to have Nabajouban darshan of the Lords at the Shree Jagannath temple while ordinary devotees will be barred from the same.

The SJTA had however, told the media on Wednesday that only sevayats (servitors) and their family members will be allowed to have the Nabajoubana darshan and no VIPS or officers will be allowed to have Nabajoubana darshan of the Lords.

jagannath puri

As per tradition, devotees enter the sanctum sanctorum through this entrance to have Nabajoubana darshan of the Lords. The CCTV camera installed here will be able to detect imposters trying to sneak into the sanctum sanctorum to have darshan in the garb of servitors, said police sources.

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