Mumbai: The Bombay High Court questioned whether there was any provision in law that prevented the temple trust of Trimbakeshwar temple in Maharashtra’s Nashik district from levying extra charges for VIP entry on Monday, while hearing a plea against Rs 200 VIP fees for entry in Trimbakeshwar temple in Nashik.
A division bench of Justices SV Gangapurwala and S G Dige was hearing a public interest litigation filed by social worker Lalita Shinde challenging the temple’s trust’s levy of Rs 200 for VIP entry.
Rameshwar Gite, an advocate for the petitioner, argued that the payment of charges for VIP entry differs between people. He claimed that because the temple is a protected monument managed by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), the temple trust cannot levy such fees.
If a person asks for some preference, then an extra amount can be charged
However, the judges said, “If a person asks for some preference, then an extra amount can be charged.” An arrangement has been made for those individuals.You show a provision that says it is not allowed.”
The judges said that they were not convinced by the arguments and kept the PIL for hearing on November 30.
The temple was declared an “ancient monument”
According to the petition, the temple was declared an “ancient monument” under the Ancient Monument Preservation Act (AMPA), which meant it was a protected structure.
In 2011, the Supreme Court ordered a nine-member committee to manage the temple. “The new trust committee decided to charge Rs 200 for VIP admission.” Several complaints were sent to the Archaeological Survey of India, which in 2015 held that the same was illegal and asked the collector to issue the necessary directions. “However, to date, no action has been taken,” the plea said.