Kathmandu, July 26-The Supreme Court on monday issued a stay order to the government and the Lumbini Development Trust (LDT), directing them not to impose entry fee at the Mayadevi Temple in Lumbini, Kapilvastu. A single bench of Justice Balram KC issued the directive to the Ministry of Culture Tourism and Civil Aviation, the Lumbini Development Trust, its contact office in Kathmandu and its board of directors, as well as priest Ganga Prasad Pandey not to impose the entry fee. Allow devotees to enter the temple without payment of any fee and let them have unfettered opportunities to pray,the bench ordered. The bench issued the order in response to a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by a group of seven persons, including a local, Bijaya Kumar Baniya.The petitioners had challenged the decision of the LDT board of directors on December 24 imposing a Rs 10 entry fee for every person coming to the temple. The petitioners also pleaded that local people in Kapilvastu were unable to pay Rs 10 each time while seeking entry to the temple. Hence, it was impractical to impose the entry fee. The petitioners also claimed the entry fee provision was against Articles 11(1), 19 and 18 of the Constitution.It was also against the Lumbini Development Trust Act of 2042 BS, they said.
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