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16th December 2023 – The Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court has granted approval for the implementation of a stringent ‘Darshan Pass’ policy at the Saibaba Temple in Shirdi. The decision mandates that entry to the temple will be allowed only with the secured pass, issued exclusively to devotees who have purchased it online, mentioning their names.

This directive comes in response to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by a social activist, highlighting the need to enhance security measures for devotees amidst the escalating crime rate in Shirdi. The court has ordered the Chairman and CEO to ensure the issuance of darshan passes strictly adheres to the names of the devotees and is documented online.

In addition, the court has sought a confidential report on the security arrangements at the Tirupati Balaji Temple in Andhra Pradesh, following which further decisions will be made. The Bombay High Court emphasizes that any deviation from the ordered security arrangements will be considered contempt of court, underlining the seriousness of the matter.

The decision aims to strengthen security measures for devotees and maintain the sanctity of the temple environment. It also specifies thorough checks, including Aadhaar verification, for VIP darshan passes to enhance overall security protocols.