A bench of Justice Arun Mishra and Justice U.U. Lalit said it would not go into the issue of what religious rituals should be followed and how devotees are to worship in the temple, adding that it was for the temple management and stakeholders to decide.
The bench reserved its order on the issue of protection of the Jyotirlingam from deterioration.
Earlier, the apex court gave its nod to new norms for worship at the temple,
including that each devotee will use only half a litre of water obtained through Reverse Osmosis process for ‘jal abhishek’, a ritual to bathe the ‘Jyotirlingam’.
The new norms, put in place to preserve the ‘Jyotirlingam’, was submitted by the Mahakaleshwar Mandir Management Committee in consultation with an expert committee set up by the court.
It permitted use of 1.25 litres of ‘panchamrita’ (mix of milk, curd, ghee, honey, and sugar) by each devotee.
It said that during ‘bhasm aarti’, the ‘Jyotirlingam’ must be covered with a cotton cloth.
The Ujjaini Vidwat Parishad, a group of intellectuals, had said that the ‘Jyotirlingam’ had shrunk due to excessive ‘bhaang shingar’ and ‘Panchamrit’.
The apex court had earlier formed a committee of experts that visited the temple in Ujjain, which recommended restricting certain practices and rituals by devotees.