SC bar on PADT regulation

KATHMANDU: The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT) not to implement the recently promulgated Regulation till Monday, asking the PADT officials to attend the apex court for a hearing on the day.

A single bench of Justice Mohan Prakash Sitaula issued the order following Thursay's hearing. The bench also stated that it would decide whether or not to continue the interim order after Monday's hearing.

Challenging the Regulation, a public interest litigation (PIL) was filed by Hindu activist Bharat Jangum yesterday. The petitioner stated since the state has turned secular, the government cannot intervene in any religion.

The Bhandaris, caretakers at the temple, have launched programmes to protest the new law. Regarding the appointment, service facilities and conditions for the temple employees, the Bhandaris moved the apex court few months back. The petition is pending in the apex court.

The recently promulgated Regulation requires that the priests be selected through written and oral tests.

The Regulation that came into effect on Monday requires the Bhattas and Bhandaris to compulsorily register all the offerings in both cash and kind with the PADT. Earlier, there was no provision of officially recording the offerings and donation.