All India Democratic Women's Association and Janwadi
Samiti Vs. Union of India & Ors  INSC 94 (17 March 1989)
Rangnath Misra Rangnath Venkatachalliah, M.N. (J)
1989 AIR 1280 1989 SCR (2) 66 1989 SCC (2) 411 JT 1989 (1) 548 1989 SCALE
of Sati (Prevention) Act, 1987: Chunri Cer e- mony-Whether glorification of
Sati--Maintenance of Sati temple and support to social institutions of utility
out of income earned pending determination- Permissibility of.
ex-parte order made in the writ petition on 9 th September, 1988, the Court
prohibited respondent No. 2, t he management of the Sri Rani Satiji's Mandir,
from performing Chunri ceremony within the temple and directed the entire
collection of money to be separately accounted for and deposited into a nationalised
this miscellaneous petition, the management soug ht vacation of the ad interim
order and lot a direction to t he authorities not to interfere in the matter of
collection of money as also articles of gold and silver of deities.
of the miscellaneous petition, the Court, Ordered:
restraint imposed on holding the Chunri ceremo ny within the temple should
continue without any variation. [68G-H]
Pending disposal of the writ .petition, the temp le complex has to be
maintained. Therefore, out of the inco me earned maintenance expenses must be
out of the income of this institution any contr i- bution was being made to
sustain some social institutions of utility, the support should not die out.
The respondent No. 2 is free to move the Distri ct Magistrate in regard to
these two aspects and in case t he latter is satisfied that appropriate funds
should be r e- leased out of the deposits in the bank for 67 one or both of the
above said purposes, he would be free to make an appropriate order in respect
JURISDICTION: Civil Misc. Petition No. 28180 of 1988.
Writ Petition No. 9 13 of 1988 (Under Article 32 of the Constitution of India.) Mrs. K. Hingorani and Ms. Santosh
Singh for the Petitioner .
(Not Present), Dr. L.M. Singhvi, Vivek Gambhi r, Parveen Kumar and B.D. Sharma
for the Respondents.
Singh for the Impleading party.
following Order of the Court was delivered:
This Court on 9.9.1988 after hearing counsel for t he petitioners in the writ
petition made an ex parte order to the following effect:
notice returnable on Tuesday, the 13 th September, 1988. In view of the
allegations made in Par a- graph 4 of the affidavit given by Vijay Trivedi, the
R e- spondent No. 2 is prohibited from performing any Chun ri Ceremony within
Sri Rani Satiji's Mandir and the respondents are directed to enforce this order
on the th September, 19 88 and on any other occasion thereafter until further
entire collection of money shall be separately account ed for and should be
deposited into a nationalised bank, so that appropriate directions after
hearing both the parties may be made by this Court in regard to the same ..... "
On 10th of September, 1988, the annual Satiji Mela w as scheduled to be
celebrated within the said temple premises .
management of the temple, respondent No. 2, in t he writ petition has now
applied for vacating the ad interim order and for a 68 direction to the
District Magistrate, Jhunjhunu to retu rn the keys of the Bhetpatras of the
temple and the boxes containing the articles of gold and silver and also for a
direction to him not to interfere in the matter of colle c- tion of money as
also collection of articles of gold a nd silver of deities located in the
premises of the temple a nd to make such other orders as may be necessary to
meet t he situation.
have heard Dr. Singhvi in support of the petition, Mrs. Hingorani for the
petitioners in the writ petiti on asking for sustaining the interim order and
Mr. Sharma f or the State of Rajasthan. An
affidavit has been filed by t he District Magistrate of Jhunjhunu in the course
of hearing which has also been placed before us.
two aspects require consideration:
er the 'Chunry' ceremony should be permitted to be perform ed within the temple
whether out of the amounts whi ch are being deposited in the nationalised bank
in terms of t he interim order, the expenses for maintenance of the temp le
complex, performance of the daily rites as also the usual charities should not
the Commission of Sati (Prevention) Act, 198 7, glorification of Sati is
strictly prohibited and that a ct has been declared to be an offence. Dr. Singhvi
by referri ng to different dictionaries has tried to impress upon us that Chunry
as such is not connected with glorification of Sa ti and is a ceremony
connected with the traditional form of offering worship known as Sodash Upachar
while Mrs. Hingor a- ni and Mr. Sharma do not accept the submission made by Dr.
Singhvi and have maintained that in the State of Rajasth an Chunry ceremony is
always associated with glorifying Sa ti and the celebration is a part of the
traditional process of religious offerings in Sati temples. This certainly is n
ot the stage in the proceedings for a final view of the que s- tion as to
whether performance of Chunry ceremony amounts to glorification of Sati and the
determination must be left to the final stage. We do not think it would be
appropriate f or us to express any view beyond this point at this stage as the
same may embarrass the bench which would ultimately hear the matter.
are, therefore, of the view that the restraint i m- posed on holding the Chunry
ceremony within the temp le should continue without any variation. The
contention of Dr. Singhvi that Chunry is a part of Sodash Upachar will have to
be examined at length at the later stage.
a look at the other aspect. There can be no two opinions that pending disposal
of the writ petition, t he temple complex has to be maintained and out of the
income earned maintenance expense must be met. The submission advanced by Mrs. Hingorani
that the temple should be co n- verted forthwith into rehabilitation camps for
uncared f or ladies is certainly not one requiring any serious consider a- tion.
There is no provision in the statute or in any other law which would warrant
such change of user of the premise s.
if out of the income of this institution any contribution was being made to
sustain some social instit u- tions of utility, the support should not die out.
The respondent No. 2 is free to move the District Magistrate of Jhunjhunu in
regard to these two aspects and in case t he District Magistrate is satisfied
that appropriate funds should be released out of the deposits in the bank for o
ne or both of the purposes indicated above he would be free to direct such
money as may be found necessary to be with drawn from the bank for being utilised
for the purposes as may be specified by the District Magistrate m his order to
disposes of the Civil Miscellaneous Petition.