The Supreme Court has issued a mandamus order to Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT) to make all necessary arrangements for devotees to offer belpatra (Bilva leaf) and flowers and make other offerings to Lord Shiva´s idol.
Responding to separate writ petitions filed by advocates Rajib Sinha and Binod Phuyal, a division bench of justices Kalyan Shrestha and Sushila Karki issued the order on Wednesday.
The writ petitions were filed in 2012 arguing that the puja system set at the Pashupatinath Temple two years ago has barred pilgrims and devotees from offering belpatra and flowers to Lord Shiva. The petitioners had argued that the puja system prevented devotees from following their religious tradition.
The order issued by the division bench on Wednesday stated that it is the responsibility of PADT to facilitate devotees to worship their lord as per their beliefs.
Earlier, the apex court on July 3 had ordered its administration to conduct a field inspection of the Pashupatinath Temple and to report whether pilgrims are allowed to offer belpatra to Lord Shiva´s idol. A division bench of justices Deepak Raj Joshi and Gobinda Upadhyay had ordered the inspection as the petitioners claimed that the PADT had not obeyed the Supreme Court´s interim order issued on May 20, 2012 in the case.