Supreme Court held that Deity of the temple is the owner of temple property, not pujaris

The Apex court held that the governing Deity of the temple is the owner of the temple land and pujari is to perform rituals and maintain the properties.

Supreme Court uphold the circulars issued by the Madhya Pradesh government which content the removal of names of pujari from revenue record pertaining to temple properties.

These circulars were issued by the government under M.P. land Revenue Code 1959 which was earlier quashed by the Madhya Pradesh High Court.

In the appeal case, state contented that such executive instructions were issued to protect the temple properties from unauthorised sale by the pujaris.

On the other hand the pujaris contended they have ownership rights which cannot be taken away by any executive instructions.

Regarding the removal of the name of the pujaris from the revenue record the Court pointed out that
name of the deity alone is required to be mentioned.

The court allowed the appeal.

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