The Bombay High Court has directed the Maharashtra government to constitute a new committee to govern the affairs of the Shri Sai Baba Sansthan Trust in Shirdi in accordance with the new rules framed by it.
"Considering the magnitude of the administration of the trust, a committee of deserving and competent persons isrequired to be constituted, which would administer the affairs of the trust efficiently and sincerely," Justices A V Nirgude and Naresh Patil said while hearing two PILs.
"The state would certainly be conscious of the fact that sentiments of millions of people around the globe are very closely attached with the shrine of Shri Sai Baba in Shirdi," the judges noted in their order on May 2.
The bench further observed that the ad hoc committee, appointed by the court on March 30 last year, shall continue to operate for two weeks from the date of the order.
In case, the state constitutes a new committee after a period of two weeks from May 2, the ad hoc committee would cease to operate from the date of coming into existence of the state-appointed committee, the bench noted. The court, however, directed the ad hoc committee not to take any major financial decision till the new committee is constituted. The ad hoc committee was asked to observe the restrictions put up by the court earlier in this regard.
The judges, while disposing of the PILs, said the observations made in respect of submissions made regarding the statutory rules shall be construed as prima facie in nature and shall not affect the rights of contesting parties if they resort to challenge the rules independently. By an order dated March 30, 2012, the High Court had appointed an adhoc committee comprising Principal Judge of Ahmednagar district, the Collector of Ahmednagar and the Chief Executive Officer of Shri Sai Baba Sansthan Trust, Shirdi, to manage the affairs of Shri Sai Baba Sansthan Trust. Since then, this committee is governing the trust.