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Supreme Court dissolves Kamakhya Debutter Board

Supreme Court dissolves Kamakhya Debutter Board

Sentinel Digital Desk

Bordeories Samaj vested with temple magement powers, to take charge within four weeks

By Our Staff Reporter

Guwahati, July 7: In a landmark ruling which puts an end to the 17-year old standoff in the magement of the hallowed Kamakhya shrine, the Supreme Court today declared the Kamakhya Debutter Board illegal and ordered its dissolution. The apex court reinstated the Bordeories Samaj, vesting in it all powers of temple magement.

The two-member bench of Justice FMI Kalifulla and Justice SK Singh further directed the district administration to ensure that the Kamakhya temple premises be cleared of members or representatives of the Debutter Board within four weeks. The premises and other properties of the shrine shall, if required, be placed back in the same time in possession of the Bordeories Samaj through the last elected Dolois against receipts which shall be retained in the office of the Deputy Commissioner.

The genesis of the dispute in Kamakhya magement can be traced back to 1998. Seven years earlier in 1992, Gyada Prasad Sarma and Paran Chandra Sarma were elected Dolois (head priests) by the Bordeories Samaj. But after their five year terms ended in 1996, the two Dolois refused to initiate the process of electing their successors. The ensuing chaos continued for two years when in 1998, the Bordeories Samaj approached the court of the District Judge which directed that an ad-hoc committee be constituted and elections held.

Meanwhile, Gyada Prasad Sarma and Paran Chandra Sarma formed the Kamakhya Debutter Board with their supporters on 25-10-1998 and announced that the board will run the affairs of the shrine. The Debutter Board also challenged the ruling of the court of the District Judge at the Gauhati High Court in the same year.

However, after a single member bench of the High Court ruled against the Debutter Board, a two-member bench further ruled in 2011 that the Debutter Board has no right to mage the affairs of Kamakhya temple. The Debutter Board then challenged this ruling at the Supreme Court in 2011.

Passing an interim order as it took up hearing the case, the Supreme Court divided the temple duties, directing the Bordeories Samaj to keep charge of the religious rituals while allowing the Debutter Board to run the magement of the temple. Meanwhile as per the ruling of the Gauhati High Court in 2011, the Bordeories Samaj held elections, with its 467 voters electing Kabindra Sarma and Jaduth Sarma as Dolois.

Welcoming the Supreme Court's ruling on Tuesday, Kabindra Sarma told The Sentinel that after receiving charge from the Deputy Commissioner, the Bordeories Samaj will focus upon providing excellent amenities to devotees by taking all stakeholders along.

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