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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Machail Mata Shrine Board. What We Know So Far

Updated 26/02/2022

The Hon’ble High Court of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh in case PIL No. 24 of 2018 pronounced that

To maintain the sanctity of the Mata Machail Shrine and faith of people in the Deity the best way out is to constitute a Machail Mata Shrine Board. The Hon’ble Court observed that Mata Machail is an important place of worship for the Hindus who have immense faith in the Mata Chandi Machail and the temple receives abundance of offering in the from of money and other donations.

The money collected from the devotees is to be properly accounted for and is utilised for the benefits of pilgrims by constructing proper roads, sheds, shelters, places of stay, drinking water facilities, washrooms and toilets, proper arrangement of food, safety and security.

The Hon’ble court also pronounced to constitute a Shrine Board under Section 92 CPC or through a separate legislation which would also have a constitutional support for better management, administration and governance of temples and their properties including land and buildings attached with them as in the cases of Shri Siddhi Vinayak Ganpati Temple Trust (Prabhadevi) Act, Madras Hindu Religious Endowments Act 1951, UP Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple Act, 1983, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Act, 1988, The Jammu and Kashmir Shri Amarnath Ji Shrine Act, 2000, The Jammu and Kashmir Shri Shiv Khori Shrine Act, 2008, The Jammu & Kashmir Shri Mata Sukrala Devi Shrine and Shri Mata Bala Sundari Shrine Act, 2013. The Hon’ble Court also directed the the Government to entrust the entire management of Mata Machail Shrine to one of the Shrines existing in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir.

A Private Member’s Bill namely Jammu and Kashmir Shri Chandi Mata Machail Dham (Machail Yatra) Shrine Board Bill was introduced during the Budget Session 2012.

What Happened with the Machail Mata Shrine Board Bill in 2012?

The Machail Mata Shrine Board Bill was introduced by Mr. Naresh Kumar Gupta, a Congress MLC from Bhadarwah. It might surprise you if I told you that the Bill was passed by the J&K Legislative Council and it had to be passed in the Legislative Assembly to become a law.

But the Bill could not see the light of the day and it fell flat. So much for our so called Political Hindu leaders who decided to stay mum on the Machail Mata Shrine Board Bill when it was introduced in the J&K Legislative Assembly.

Machail Mata
View of Machail Mata Temple in Paddar

Check out the Video below on How the Machail Mata Shrine Board Bill was introduced in the Legislative Assembly and how it was shelved.


Former BJP MLA, Priya Sethi was responding on behalf of the BJP-PDP coalition Government on the introduction of the Bill who happened to be the then Minister of State for Tourism.

You will be overwhelmed if I told you that not a single brick has been laid by the Tourism Department en route Gulabgarh to Machail as claimed by the Minister on the floor of the house in the video.

It is worth mentioning here that the Machail Yatra has the distinction of becoming the second biggest pilgrimage only after Shri Amarnath Yatra in the State of J&K.

Nonetheless, we are very hopeful that the Machail Yatra will overtake Shri Amarnath Yatra in a couple of years.

Also Read

PIL Filed seeking Status of Machail Mata Shrine Board in High Court of Jammu

A Public Interest Litigation was filed in the Hon’ble High Court of Jammu by Ajay Kumar Shama regarding the mismanagement and illegalities in the maintenance of the annual Machail Yatra and seeking the status of Shrine Board in the year 2018.

It was the infamous brawl that happened during the Machail Yatra in the month of August last year that the matter was taken to court which also led to the abandonment of age old ritual of the procession of Holy Mace from Bhanderwah to Machail.

Over 2,00,000 pilgrims visited the Holy Machail Mata Shrine last year and certainly, this number was way far too much for the management of Machail Yatra to handle. The management of the Yatra have asserted several times on record that a Machail Mata Shrine Board be set up to look after the affairs of the Machail Yatra as it had swelled beyond the managerial capacity of the Sarv Shakti Sevak Sanstha, the Management Body Yatra.

Let us look into the important points what the Hon’ble High Court said it’s order dated 31st December 2018 regarding the PIL in Machail Yatra.

  • An inventory of the immovable properties, monetary donations and valuables be prepared.
  • Divisional Commissioner, Jammu is appointed the local Commissioner and the Receiver to inventorise the entire properties and assets of Machail Mata.
  • The Divisional Commissioner, Jammu shall take all the records and assets of the Machail Mata in his custody and will be at the liberty to conduct inspections.
  • A Special Investigation Team (SIT) be constituted by the Chief Secretary, Government of Jammu and Kashmir so that the appropriate orders for transferring the criminal cases for investigation can be made by the Hon’ble Court.

Here is the detailed High court order Dated 31/12/2018 in the case Ajay Kumar Sharma Vs State and Ors.

The matter has been actively taken up by the Divisional Commissioner, Jammu and Deputy Commissioner, Kishtwar after the Hon’ble High Court’s order.

Here are the copies Div Com Jammu’s Orders asking for the details regarding the inventories of Machail Mata in Paddar

Here is the Deputy Commissioner Kishtwar’s Order Below

Machail Mata DC Kishtwar Order in PIL

Give your feedback on the story in the comments section below if you are in favor of granting the Shrine Board Status to Machail Mata. Keep sharing.

Note – This is a developing article and will be updated from time to time

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