Row over Pashupatinath temple sparks legal battle

Last Updated: Friday, July 29, 2011 - 20:40

Kathmandu: The governing body of Nepal`s
world famous Pashupatinath temple has dragged the government
to the Supreme Court after the Communist-led coalition
dissolved the Trust of the 5th century Hindu shrine.

Nepal`s Culture Minister Khagendra Prasain, who is the
chairman of the the Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT)
that runs the day-today affairs of the shrine, through a
letter to member secretary of the Trust notified that the
temple`s executive committee has been dissolved, according to
sources at PADT.

However, Sushil Kumar Nahata, the member secretary of
the PADT, claimed that the minister`s decision was illegal and
he has challenged the decision in the Supreme Court.

The minister has no right to dissolve the executive
body of the trust which has a four-year tenure, he said.

"Now it is only two years since the body was formed,"
he added.

"We have filed an appeal to the apex court and the
hearing in the appeal is scheduled to take place on Sunday,"
said Nahata, who was appointed as chief of the Trust by Nepali
Congress minister in the previous Madhav Nepal-led coalition.

The member secretary said he "won`t quit as two more
years remain to complete my term. He said the minister`s
decision "is his personal decision and it has no legal value".

Last month, Minister Prasain wrote a letter to Nahata
seeking clarifications on issues of management and allegations
of corruption in the PADT.

The minister had sought clarification on the
"embezzlement of Rs 9 lakh while building a bridge near
Shankaracharya temple during Shivaratri festival last year".

Located on the banks of the Bagmati river,
Pashupatinath is regarded as the most sacred temple of Shiva
(Pashupati) and the oldest Hindu shrine in Nepal.

PTI



First Published: Friday, July 29, 2011 - 20:40

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