Sharing of Mata Chintpurni temple riches, High Court asks for accounts

Shimla: In a dispute over sharing of offerings at the rich Mata Chintpurni Temple, Una between a hereditary trust and temple administration, the Himachal Pradesh High Court has directed the deputy commissioner (DC) and temple officer Una to place the audited balance sheet on record.

Hearing the petition of five hereditary trustees (Pujari Baridars) of Mata Chintpurni Trust, a division bench of chief justice Kurian Joseph and Justice VK Sharma also sought to know from the temple officer and DC Una as to why hereditary trust has not been nominated on the management.

To the plea by the hereditary trustees for quashing of a prospective plan for the administration of the trust and seeking directions about unauthorized expenditure made from temple income for dubious purposes, the court has asked the temple administration for audited expenditure and income of the temple.

In a separate case, the High Court on 7th January, 2003 had directed DC Una to place before it a prospective comprehensive plan about policy guidelines for gearing up the temple administration.

In the plan placed before the court the DC had suggested that the first charge on the amount of cash offerings should be towards administrative expenses for management of the temple.

He had also suggested that a 50% share for pujari baridars in the cash offerings was on higher side and should be reduced. which has ever since been a bone of contention for the two sides.

Chintpurni temple happens to be the richest temple in Himachal which is reported to be having accumulated gold offering of over 150 Kgs. In 2006 alone, the temple had recorded a cash collection of Rs 20.8 crore as cash and 25 Kg of gold.

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