Bhubaneswar: The Supreme Court on Wednesday deferred the hearing in the Puri Shree Jagannath Temple reforms case to March 5 due to unavailability of Justice AK Sikri.
A two-judge bench comprising Justices S Abdul Nazeer and MR Shah observed that since Justice AK Sikri was unavailable for the hearing so the bench post the matter for hearing March 5.
Significantly, Amicus Curiae Ranjeet Kumar submitted in the court that he had visited the 12th century shrine on February 23 in compliance with the apex court order and met various stakeholders, including Temple Managing Committee Chairman and Gajapati Maharaj Dibyasingha Deb, Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) Chief Administrator PK Mohapatra, temple officials, and servitors there.
He further said that various stakeholders have given him written submissions and hence, he needed more time to submit report to the court.
Meanwhile, Kumar’ deputy Priya Hingorani submitted that they would submit the report on March 5.
The former Solicitor General (SG) was last month appointed by the Supreme Court as Amicus Curiae to oversee the 12 reform proposals recommended by it at Jagannath Temple in Puri. Kumar’s appointment came after senior lawyer Gopal Subramaniam withdrew himself as the Amicus Curiae in November last year before submitting his report to the apex court.
After visiting the temple and holding discussions with different stakeholders Kumar had though expressed satisfaction over the functioning of the temple said that there was scope for improvement at the shrine.