New Delhi, May 21 - The Supreme Court today stayed the Calcutta High Court order which had banned the entry of devotees into the sanctum sanctorum of the famed Kalighat temple in Kolkata.
A bench of justices Deepak Verma and S J Mukhopadhyay, while staying the high court order, directed the West Bengal Government, the Centre and the temple committee to file their responses within four weeks.
The apex court, however, clarified that certain restrictions imposed by the high court on preserving the cleanliness and hygiene in and around the temple shall continue to be in force.
The apex court had on May 15 issued notices to the Centre and the West Bengal government on a plea for permitting devotees to enter the sanctum sanctorum of the Kolkata Kalighat temple to pay obeisance to its deity.
The Calcutta High Court on April 20 had restricted the entry into the Kali temple and had ordered that no visitors, including VIPs, will be allowed into the sanctum sanctorum of the temple.
Pleading for a stay on the high court order, the temple committee had submitted that the ban on the entry of devotees was creating a law and order problem.
In a slew of directions, the high court had earlier ordered that only two priests designated by temple authorities would be present within the sanctum sanctorum.
The high court had also ruled that no one should be allowed to accept offerings of money or valuables from devotees.
The order was passed on a petition filed before the court on malpractices and harassment of visitors to the temple.
Considered an Adi Shakti Peeth, the temple is believed to be more than 200-years-old. PTI