Cuttack, Apr 5 (PTI) The Orissa High Court today expressed displeasure over the attitude of Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) in deciding as to when the prayer hall (Jagamohan) of the 12th century shrine would be thrown open to devotees.

Inform the court in an affidavit positively by April 10 about your decision on opening of the Jagamohan. Or else be prepared for the initiation of stringent legal action by summoning the chief administrator for a personal appearance , a bench headed by Chief Justice Vineet Saran warned.

The prayer hall of the temple has been kept out of bound for devotees since the ASI took up its repair works on January 27, 2016. On March 16, the ASI informed the high court that the works are over and it can now be made accessible to the devotees.

But the temple administration on one plea or another is ignoring the high court’s concern for opening the hall to the devotees.

It informed the high court today that the Jagamohan cannot be open to devotees before July 26 on account of the Rath Yatra.

Earlier, the temple administration, endorsing a decision of the Jagannath Temple Managing Committee, had taken a stand that since the treasury (Ratna Bhandar) of the temple is in continuity with Jagamohan, the same structure should be inspected to find out whether it needs any repair work or not.

Upon the high court’s nod and obtaining the necessary permission from the state government, the Ratna Bhandar was inspected by a team of 16 expert members yesterday. A partial report on this inspection was submitted in the HC in a sealed cover.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.