Press release on Supreme Court order related to Bababudangiri case

September 11, 2015

by Karnataka Komu Souharda Vedike

In response to the imbroglio created by the Sangh Parivar groups on the issue of Baba budhan dargah, The Supreme Court has pronounced it order on 3 September 2015. The important aspects of the Judgement are as follows:

1. Following the order of the Supreme Court, the Endowment Commissioner conducted a public hearing with regards to the religious nature of the shrine prior to Hyder Ali period and submitted its report to the Court. Important recommendations of the report were:
a. A Hindu archak appointed by the Management Committee would perform the daily pooja (rites) inside the cave and the mode of worship and other rituals to the Peetha/Paduka will be as prescribed by the Agama expert of the Department.
b. Mujavar would continue taking the lobana on Mondays and Thursdays after namaz, and thereafter offer fateha at darga
c. Shahkhadri/Committee of Management would announce the three-day annual Urs celebration an year in advance as per Hindu calendar. The Urs would commence on the next day of the holy festival.. All the rituals connected with the Urus will be performed under the guidance/supervision of Shahkhadri.
d. Shahkhadri will guide the Mujavar in the performance of daily rituals in the darga and also at the time of the Urus.

The Supreme Court has not accepted the above demands.

2 Considering the sensitive nature of the issue, the Supreme Court directed the State Cabinet to arrive at a decision after considering the various pros and cons on the matter, after duly considering all the objections against the report..

3. Till then Status Quo as granted by the court on 1st December 2008 as per the Endowment Commissioner’s order of 1989 shall remain. (According to which a) The cave shrine, “Sri Guru Dattattreya Bababudan Dargah”, is a Dargah and not a temple b) The dargah is visited and venerated by Hindus and Muslims alike. c) The religious and administrative management of the dargah rests with Shakhadri (sajjada nashin) d) There is a Mujawar appointed by the Shakhadri to perform daily rites (pooja) inside the caves and he is the one permitted to enter the sanctum sanctorum of the institution and distributes tabarrukh/theertha to the devotees of both the communities. e) The annual festival of Urs of Sri Guru Dattatreya Baba Budan Swamy dargah will be performed by Shakhadri and he shall be in charge of its management.)

Karnataka Komu Souharda Vedike considers this as yet another Historical opportunity for the State Government to settle the dispute by following constitutional values and norms of Justice. Hence we demand the Karnataka Government to take these steps immediately:

  1. One of the very important constitutional aspect that the Vedike brought before the Supreme Court, was invalidity and illegality of the very enquiry and the recommendations of Endowment Commissioner under The Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, a central act passed in 1991, exclusively to prevent political misuse of religious sentiments of the people by resorting to change the religious nature of Places of Worship. This act enforces the retention of religious nature of any Places of Worship as it was existing on the 15th day of August 1947. The act makes any attempts to change the religious nature of the shrine, a punishable criminal offence after the promulgation of the act in June 1991. The Endowment Commissioner has declined to take into account this act and has suggested to bring it to the notice of the Supreme Court itself. The SC, in its present order is silent on this very important Constitutional aspect. This is a very serious matter because if the Government considers the report and implements its recommendations it would be violating the 1991 Central Act and thereby defacto indulges in a criminal offence.Hence the Vedike demands that the State Government bring this issue of possible constitutional crisis if the government considers the report under the 1991 Act and seek clear instruction from the Court through a Revision Petition.
  2. In any case, we maintain that the State Cabinet is also duty bound to take into cognizance the clauses of 1991 act even with out Court’s direction. Hence, we expect the State Cabinet to dismiss the report even if it has to consider the report as per the present Court Order, since it is left alone by the Court to apply its mind and judgement after hearing all the parties.
  3. Vedike also demands to constitute a committee of experts in Law, Constitution, Administration, History and with firm commitment to the values enshrined in the Constitution to hear the objections and advice the Cabinet on the same.
  4. We also demand the government to device a proper method and mechanisms without any delay and stipulate a time of 6 months to give its report. There after we demand the Government to call for a special Cabinet meeting to decide on the Issue immediately.

 

The imbroglio created by the Sangh Parivar groups on the issue of Baba budhan dargah is mala-fide in intent. Notwithstanding, the truthfulness or otherwise of the arguments of Sangha Parivar, the Komu Souharda Vedike had formed a study group consisting of scholars and activists to look into the claims and arguments made by the Sangh Parivar and also the arguments behind the Recommendations of Endowments Commissioner’s report of 2010.

The Study team has collected sufficient Historical, Revenue, Survey and Administrative documents in the last two months. Basing on which the Vedike declares that the claims of Sangh Parivar is complete concoction. But the Sangh Parivar and many government officers at different levels have suppressed the facts which proves that the Shrine had been a Darga since its inception. Thereby they have mislead the Court and has indulged in Fraud. Vedike is duty bound to expose all these manipulations in every forum.

Komu Souharda Vedike reiterates that it is all prepared to prove beyond doubt that the “Sri Guru Dattatreya Bababudan Darga” has always been a Dargah venerated by both Hindus and Muslims and was never a Peetha or Temple of Dattaterya, in front of any committee committed to Truth and Justice.

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