Shirdi/Mumbai: The Bombay High Court stayed Shri Saibaba Sansthan's decision to put on auction gold, silver and diamond articles it received in offerings from devotees.

The bidding for the offerings was to be held in three phases beginning October 18.

The stay was granted by Justice Naresh Patil and Justice A B Choudhari of the Aurangabad bench of the High Court on a petition filed by Rajendra Gondkar and Sandeep Kulkarni.

The petitioners submitted that the new managing committee of the Shirdi Sai Baba Sansthan appointed by the High Court recently had not obtained permission from the Court to hold the auction.

The Committee should have taken permission before deciding to auction the offerings of devotees, the petition said.

The petitioners argued that since the devotees had offered these precious articles to the Trust not for the purpose of auction but as offerings to Sai Baba and be kept in a museum instead of auctioning them.

Earlier, on a plea made by the petitioners, the High Court had appointed a new committee to run the Trust, comprising District Judge Jayant Kulkarni, Collector Sanjay Kumar and Sansthan's Executive Officer Kishore More.

The Sansthan had recently decided to auction articles made of gold, silver and diamonds worth Rs five crore in three phases starting October 18.

In first auction, silver articles such as crowns, coins, glasses and garlands collectively weighing 22 kg were to be sold out.

The second auction of gold articles, weighing eight Kg, was to be conducted on November 1. The articles, totaling 32 in number, included crowns, garlands, rudraksha garlands, necklaces and bangles.

The ultimate auction was of diamonds and precious metals valued at Rs two crore. It included 52 articles such as yellow sapphire, blue sapphire and diamond stones, including a locket studded with two big diamonds valued at Rs 1.17 crore.


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