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Bombay High Court orders probe into alleged embezzlement at Tulja Bhavani Temple

A recent development has brought the alleged mismanagement of donations at Maharashtra's Tulja Bhavani temple between 1991 and 2009 into the spotlight. The Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court has intervened, ordering a thorough police investigation into the matter.

News Arena Network - Mumbai - UPDATED: May 10, 2024, 08:37 AM - 2 mins read

Police Investigation Launched Following PIL on Temple Mismanagement. Image X.

Bombay High Court orders probe into alleged embezzlement at Tulja Bhavani Temple

Police Investigation Launched Following PIL on Temple Mismanagement. Image X.


A recent development has brought the alleged mismanagement of donations at Maharashtra's Tulja Bhavani temple between 1991 and 2009 into the spotlight. The Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court has intervened, ordering a thorough police investigation into the matter.

 

The directive came in response to a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, a charitable trust, which raised concerns over possible fraud and misappropriation within the Tulja Bhavani Temple Trust during the mentioned period.

 

The court, comprising Justices Mangesh Patil and Shailesh Brahme, mandated the registration of a First Information Report (FIR) and entrusted the investigation to a high-ranking officer from the State Crime Investigation Department (CID).

 

The PIL emphasised the absence of proper by-laws or regulations governing the temple's management during that time, which could have contributed to the alleged irregularities.

 

It cited reports from 2009 indicating substantial amounts of cash, gold, and other valuables, totaling Rs 8.46 crore, purportedly being syphoned off through the auctioning of donation boxes.

 

Despite opposition from the state government, which argued that too much time had elapsed for effective legal action, the court maintained that such serious allegations warranted a thorough investigation.

 

It rebuffed the notion of preemptively dismissing the need for legal proceedings, emphasising the importance of upholding criminal law in cases of suspected misappropriation and breach of trust.

 

The petition highlighted a significant shift in the temple's practices, particularly the resumption of auctioning donation boxes between 1991 and 2009 after a hiatus since 1984. This period allegedly saw widespread embezzlement, with a notable disparity between the offerings made and those officially recorded.

 

The court's intervention underscores the gravity of the allegations and the imperative for accountability within religious institutions entrusted with public donations.

 

The unfolding investigation serves as a reminder of the need for transparent and accountable management of religious trusts to safeguard the interests of devotees and ensure the integrity of sacred institutions.



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