By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, June 6, 2018: The Odisha government on Wednesday appointed retired Orissa High Court judge Raghubir Dash as the chairman of the inquiry commission constituted to probe the case of missing keys of the Jagannath temple treasury.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik approved justice Dash’s name for the post and the commission will submit its report in August after the annual Ratha Yatra festival on July 14.

The Odisha government on Monday had announced setting up of a judicial commission to inquire into the circumstances under which the keys of the Ratna Bhandar disappeared.

The judicial commission during its inquiry will focus on the circumstances under which the Ratna Bhandar’s keys went missing and why it was not found, an official said.

The state-wide outcry over the missing keys of the Ratna Bhandar virtually compelled the Naveen Patnaik government to take pro-active step. Opposition political parties had demanded a clarification on it from Patnaik.

The term of reference for the commission will be published soon, the officials said.

The Shri Jagannath Temple Rules, 1960, state that the audit of the ornaments inside the Ratna Bhandar should be conducted every six months.

The rules also mention who is the custodian of the ornaments, how the audit should be conducted and who will be in charge of the keys.

However, according to the Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA), it has not been opened since 1985.

As per the practice of the 12th Century shrine as well as the rule book, the ornaments that are not being used are kept in the inner chamber of the Ratna Bhandar. The chamber has two locks that are sealed.

The locks can be opened only with the special permission of the state government. The keys of the locks are to be submitted by the temple administration at the government treasury, as per practice and rules.

The chamber containing the ornaments used during festivals will also be secured with two locks. One of the keys would be with the SJTA chief administrator and the other with Pattajoshi Mohapatra, the person appointed to deal with the temple’s affairs, according to the practice.

The keys of the chamber containing the ornaments adorned by the Trinity during daily rituals should be with the Bhandar Mekap, the caretaker of the deities ornaments and clothes.

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