Row over control of Pashupatinath temple sparks legal battle in Nepal
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
Kathmandu, July 29: 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-to day 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 told PTI.
"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.
Lastupdate on : Fri, 29 Jul 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 29 Jul 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 30 Jul 2011 00:00:00 IST
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