Today Justice Arun Mishra of Supreme Court delivered his last verdict in the case of SARIKA vs ADMINISTRATOR, MAHAKALESHWAR MANDIR COMMITTEE, UJJAIN (M.P.) & ORS. (CIVIL APPEAL NO.4676 OF 2018) regarding management of Shivalinga in Shri Mahakaleshwar Temple at Ujjain.
The Supreme Court 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. Report indicates that there was erosion of Shivalinga after the last inspection, and it is a continuing process.The Report indicated that the pH value of Bhasma Aarti stands at 10.51, which was required to be improved and was reactive to Cryptocrystalline siliceous cementing material of orthoquartzite at room temperature and causing deterioration in Jyotirlingam.
Considering the erosion of Jyotirlingam, the court issued following directions:
- The Expert Committee shall visit the temple and submit a report by 15th December 2020, as to the steps to be taken to prevent deterioration of Shivlinga and the steps to be taken to preserve the temple structure, including Chandranageshwar Temple. We also direct the Committee to do a yearly survey and submit a report to this Court.
- To preserve the Shivalingam, we direct that :
- any devotee should do no rubbing of the Shivalingam.
- The Temple Committee to ensure that the pH value of Bhasma during the Bhasma Aarti is improved and Shivalingam is preserved from further deterioration and to implement the best methodology to prevent further damage to the Lingam.
- The Temple Committee ensures that weight of Mund Mala and Serpakarnahas is further reduced to preserve the Shivalingam from mechanical abrasion. The Temple Committee to find out a way and consider whether it is necessary to use the Metal Mund Mala on the Shivalingam, or there can be a way out to use Mund Mala and Serpakarnahas without touching the Shivalingam. Possibility of further reducing weight may also be found out to prevent mechanical abrasion.
- The rubbing of curd, ghee, honey on the Shivalingam by the devotees is also a cause of erosion. It would be appropriate that only pouring of a limited quantity of pure milk is allowed by the Committee. Whereas in the traditional puja to be done on behalf of the temple, all pure materials can be used.
- Poojaries, Janeupati, Khutpati, Purohits, and their authorized representatives to strictly ensure that no visitor or devotee rub the Shivalingam at any cost. If it is done by any devotee, accompanying Poojari or Purohit shall be responsible for not stopping the rubbing. No rubbing of Shivalingam to be done by anyone except during traditional Puja and Archana performed on behalf of the temple.
- The entire proceedings of Puja and Archana in Garbh Griha to be video recorded 24 hours and be preserved at least for six months. If any violation is found by any Poojari, Purohit, let the Temple Committee take suitable action against that Poojari or Purohit, as considered appropriate.
- As agreed to on behalf of the Temple Committee, no Panchamrita to be poured on Shivalingam by any devotee. It may be used only during traditional Puja and Archana of the Shivlingam.
- The Temple Committee shall provide pure milk from its resources to the visitors and devotees for offering and make arrangements for that. The Committee should ensure that no impure or adulterated milk is offered to Shivalingam and concerned Poojari/ Purohit to ensure compliance.
- The Temple Committee shall provide water from Koti Thirth Kund filtered and purified and further maintain the required pH value.
- Let the CBRI, Roorkee visit the temple, if necessary, and submit a project report as per its proposal dated 17.09.2019. CBRI, Roorkee, is directed to submit a project report regarding structural stability within six months. A sum of Rs. 41.30 Lakhs, as required by it, shall be paid by the Central Government as early as possible.
- Ujjain Smart City Ltd., as per its letter dated 27.08.2020, is directed to undertake Mahakaal Rudrasagar Integrated Development Approach (Phase I and Phase II) forthwith and submit to this Court detailed project report and the time frame within six weeks.
- Let the details of necessary repairs, maintenance, and improvement be worked out and carried out forthwith. Let the Collector prepare a comprehensive plan for this purpose with the help of the Superintendent Engineer and available Architect. The State Government shall sanction fund immediately. Let a suitable plan and estimate be prepared within four weeks, and necessary repair and maintenance work be carried out urgently.
- The Expert Committee ordered the removal of modern additions, as noted at Item No. 20. They shall be removed, and the Temple Committee shall file a compliance report to this Court by 15th December, 2020.
- The original work in the temple is required to be restored. As assured by the Committee, let restoration work be done concerning eyesore painting by 15th December, 2020. The Temple Committee is directed to ensure in future not to permit or resort to such painting and covering of the original work, objected by the Expert Committee. Let a report be submitted to this Court in this regard by 15th December, 2020.
- We direct the Collector and Superintendent of Police of Ujjain to ensure that encroachment within 500 mtrs. of the area of the temple premises are removed, as suggested by the Experts Committee. Let needful be done by 15th December, 2020, and a report be submitted to this Court.
- Concerning the preservation and maintenance of Chandranageshwar Temple, a comprehensive plan be prepared and implemented, and be submitted to this Court for information.
- If any area is slippery in Garbh Griha, the Temple Committee to ensure that the needful is done.
- Let the necessary religious rituals be performed regularly along with other aspects as discussed in Para 5 of the order.