Telangana HC Hears Contentions of Senior Counsels on row over Celestial Wedding at Bhadrachalam

Hyderabad: The Telangana High Court made clear that the state government need not file a report from a committee of experts on the controversy over the celestial wedding at the Sri Sita Ramachandra Swamy temple in Bhadrachalam.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Alok Aradhe and Justice J. Anil Kumar heard senior counsel L. Ravichander, representing K.E. Sthalasai, Sthanacharyulu, who was in appeal against an order of a single judge who had required the government to constitute an expert committee on how the Kalyanotsavam has been performed all these years and to verify the Gothram and Pravara that were mentioned in the Kalyanotsavam before 2012, and thereafter.

Senior counsel Ravichander pointed out that the order of the single judge would open a Pandora's box and needlessly involve the writ court in matters of religious expertise. He said that though the order of the court was interim in nature, it raised serious issues.

Either way the High Court would be compelled to tread on a controversial area with the report, if and when submitted, he said.

Ravichander argued that the orders were contrary to earlier judicial pronouncements. Appearing for the writ petitioners, senior counsel D.V. Sitaram Murthy pointed out that the appeal on behalf of the Sthanacharya as an employee was unwarranted. He said that the appeal was academic, since the government had already acted upon the direction and constituted the committee.

Senior counsel Hariharan in a connected writ petition argued that the single judge’s direction was justified in view of the repeated inaction of the state government. The panel recorded that counsels would examine the possibility of an amicable solution by involving experts from within the framework and excluding outsiders and posted the matter to July 3.

It may be recalled that there are differences over the Gothram and Pravara that need to be recited to the Kalyanotsavam. Priests at the temple currently chant the Gothram and Pravara of Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi, while there is a demand that they should be of Lord Rama and Goddess Sita.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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