HC seeks Maha govt's reply on allowing Jain community to collect food from temples

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Mumbai, Apr 15 (PTI) The Bombay High Court on Thursday sought to know from the Maharashtra government if members of the Jain community can be allowed to take away parcels of special food from their temples while fasting for the annual nine-day Ayambil Oli Tap, noting that it was a “reasonable request”.

A vacation bench of Justices S C Gupte and Abhay Ahuja was hearing petitions filed by two Jain trusts, seeking permission for members of the community to take away parcels of pious boiled food to be consumed during the fast from the premises of the trusts.

The trusts' advocate Prafulla Shah argued that they are not asking for temples or dining halls to be opened for people to come and eat there, but only for allowing people to take away food parcels.

“The government order of April 13 titled 'Break the Chain' allows restaurants and bars for home delivery and take away. We are also seeking the same permission, but only for nine days from April 19 to April 27. There will be no congregation at temples,” Shah said.

Additional government pleader Jyoti Chavan said people should not flock to these temples to pick up their parcels.

To this, the court then suggested for volunteers to deliver food parcels.

'May be volunteers could deliver parcels. There are many good people in your (Jain) community. We are only trying to see what can be the solution,' Justice Gupte said.

The court asked the government to consider the issue.

'This seems to be a reasonable request. They (petitioners) are not opening the religious place, but are only giving food parcels,” the court said.

The bench has posted the petitions for further hearing on Friday, when the state government has to inform the court of its decision on whether to permit the request sought.

During the Ayambil Oli Tap, the Jain community consumes boiled food of a particular kind that is cooked without any spices. PTI SP ARU