Staff Reporter

`Order in an interlocutory application is still in place'

  • Petitions filed seeking a direction to State on law and order
  • Petitioners apprehended that new ritual would lead to communal violence

    BANGALORE: The Karnataka High Court on Saturday refused to pass any fresh direction to the State Government on maintaining law and order at Datta Peetha in Bababudangiri in Chikmagalur district.

    A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Cyriac Joseph and Justice S. Abdul Nazir dismissed petitions by K. Nissar Ahmed, Shahbuddin Khan and M.R. Sunderesh, all of whom claimed to be devotees of the peetha and had sought a direction to the State to maintain law and order and to ensure that Datta Jayanti was conducted only as per the February 25, 1989 order of the Commissioner of Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments.

    They said that the rituals at the shrine should be conducted by both Hindus and Muslims as per the 1989 order and apprehended that new rituals like "Datta Homa" and "Gana Homa" and the conduct of Shoba Yatra and Datta Mala Abhiyana would lead to communal clashes.

    Refusing to interfere with the conduct of rituals, the court said its earlier order in an interlocutory application (IA) of March 13, 2006 was still in place where it had said that the dargah belonged to both Hindus and Muslims. It noted in the IA an order of February 25, 2006 by the Deputy Commissioner of Chikmagalur on the performance of daily rituals. It said the question that remained was whether the petitioners were entitled to the relief as sought for and whether the court could issue directions merely because of apprehension of the petitioners that the State was not taking steps to maintain law and order.