'Anarchy in UP?' Irate Over Management of 300-year-old Temple, SC Hits Out at State Govt

CNN-News18

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Uttar Pradesh government if there is "complete anarchy" in the state.

The observation by a bench led by Justice NV Ramana has come days after it remarked there appears to be a "Jungle Raj" in UP. The top court is hearing a matter relating to management of a 300-year-old temple in Bulandshahr.

By way of an administrative order in 2006, the management of Shree Deviji Bela Bhawani temple was changed by the state government, which started regulating the property, offerings etc under the Societies Registration Act in 2011.

As this was challenged before the top court by a group of priests, the bench noted that there is no law in the state to manage or regulate temples.

"Can you take over any temple, do anything by issuing government orders? This is a complete anarchy," the bench told senior advocate Ranjit Kumar who represented the state.

It asked the UP government why there is no existing law in the state to manage temples or religious endowments. "There is a central law. Many states have created temple boards to manage temples too. Why does UP not have a proper law?" it asked Kumar.

Kumar sought time to get proper instructions in the matter and consider passing a specific law on management of temples and also as to state stepping in over mismanagement of a temple.

The court gave UP government six weeks to reply whether they are going to pass a proper law to manage temples in the state.

On Tuesday, the state's additional chief secretary was also present in the court. His presence was sought after the court reproached the state government last week over issues of inadequate instructions.