Explained: Amendment to the Jagannath Temple Act

What is the News?

In a historic decision, the Odisha state cabinet has approved amendments to the Sri Jagannath Temple Act of 1954.

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About Regulations on Jagannath Temple

In the year 1806, the then British government had issued regulations for management of the Jagannath temple, which was referred to as the Juggernaut temple by the colonial rulers.

Under these regulations, pilgrims who visited the temple were expected to pay taxes. The British government was entrusted with appointing senior priests at the temple.

The powers of management of the temple were passed on to the King of Khordha after three years, while the colonial government continued to retain some control.

After India gained Independence, the Jagannath Temple Act was introduced in the year 1952, which came into effect in 1954.

The Act contains provision regarding a) land rights of the temple, b) duties of the sevayat (priests), c) administrative powers of the Shri Jagannath Temple Managing Committee, d) rights and privileges of the Raja of Puri and other persons connected with the management and administration of the temple.

What are the recent amendments to the Sri Jagannath Temple Act of 1954?

The amendment has delegated power to temple administration and concerned officials for sale and lease of land in name of Jagannath temple.

Unlike earlier, no approval will be required from the state government for this process. 

Moreover, through the sale of land, used and unused, the temple can also generate additional corpus funds.

Source: This post is based on the article ‘Explained: Amendment to the Jagannath Temple Act published in Indian Express on 6th Jan 2022.

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