Kashi Vishwanath Temple darshan scheme challenged in Allahabad High Court

The Sugam Darshan system launched in 2018, which allows any person to become a VIP on payment of some amount for purposes darshan in the Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Banaras, Uttar Pradesh, has been challenged in the Allahabad High Court.

The petition has been filed in the High Court by law student Gajendra Singh Yadav. According to the plea, the Kashi Vishwanath Temple trust’s official website shows that Sugam Darshan costs Rs 300, Rudrabhishek Arti costs Rs 450-57100, Bhog costs Rs 180-700, Rs 3000, Shringari costs Rs 5000 and Lakhbilwarchana costs Rs 8660.

The petitioner has also questioned the barricading around the Shiv Linga in the temple for a majority of the time. He alleged that because of this barricading, devotees are forced to pour water, milk and other offerings only from above the Shiv Linga without touching it.

The petitioner further states that in worship or offering of Lord Shiva, Sparsh Darshan is believed to have greater importance and also classifies as Right to Religion under Article 25 and 26 of the Constitution of India. In the petition, it was pointed out that shops which are inside the boundaries of the temple sell milk and sweets at substantially higher prices such as milk worth Rs 28 for Rs 50-60 and sweets at Rs 400 per kg instead of the rate of Rs 280 per kg outside.

The petitioner contended that this is again discrimination with other devotees while alleging that special treatment is given to known persons or relatives of persons who are part of the above Trust or Temple by way of allowing for darshan out of turn to them. The plea emphasised that this service should be free for disabled persons as similar facilities are being provided to disabled persons/ divyangs in every government or public buildings, offices and institutions etc.
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