The Orissa high court on Friday quashed the trust board of Emar Mutt and directed endowment commissioner to constitute a new trust body including local eminent persons of Puri and government officials as its members.
Justice M M Das gave the direction in response to a petition filed by the mutt’s former mahant, Rajgopal Ramanuj Das, challenging his suspension from the mutt. The age-old mutt had hogged the limelight after 522 silver ingots worth Rs 80 crore were recovered from its premises a few months ago. Later, police arrested Das on charges of theft of the silver bricks from the mutt and he was suspended from the trust board by the endowment commissioner.
Published In: The Times Of India, Bhubaneswar
As per the court’s order, the state government had shifted the 522 silver bricks seized from the mutt on February 28, to the district armoury located inside the Police Reserve for secure custody.
To take care of the mutt’s day-to-day activities, the endowment commissioner had formed an interim trust board, comprising five members. But the high court today quashed the interim trust board and directed the endowment commissioner to form a new trust body.
The court also provided relief to Das and permitted him to conduct holy rituals in the mutt. However, the court has imposed restriction on his involvement in the administrative and financial work of the mutt.
“The court has allowed the mahant to perform puja rituals in the mutt but the court has clearly cited that he cannot be involved in the administrative activities of the mutt. The court has also directed the endowment commissioner to form a new trust board, including intellectuals and eminent persons of Puri as its members. Government officials can also be included in the trust,” said Akshya Rath, counsel of the endowment department.Emar Mutt 522 silver bricks