On Wednesday the Karnataka government admitted before the High Court that it was a mistake to print the name of A B Ibrahim, Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Dakshina Kannada district, on the invitation card for a festival in Puttur temple, according to a report by The Hindu.
Following the admission, according to CNN-IBN, the HC directed the government to drop the name of the IAS officer from the invitation cards and directed them to reprint the cards without his name.
The Hindu reported that a division bench comprising Chief Justice Subhro Kamal Mukherjee and Justice Ravi Malimath passed the order on PIL filed by a group of devotees of Puttur Mahalingeshwara temple who pointed that the inclusion of the name was against the endowment act of the government.
According to the state government, it was protocol they were following, to which the petitioners argued that the protocol couldn't be above the law, and that the inclusion of the names of non-Hindus would be an embarrassment to them.
Printing the name of AB Ibrahim, on the invitation card for this year's car festival at the Lord Mahalingeshwara temple had created a stir when the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the Bajrang Dal raised objections over it, according to an earlier report by Firstpost.
On 16 March 2016, Puttur MLA Shakuntala Shetty of the Congress had cited provisions of the Hindu Religious Endowments Act which states that non-Hindu names could not be printed in temple invitations.
In an earlier CNN-IBN report, Ibrahim had said, "My name was on many temple invites before in the same region and this is not the first time. In the past two years, I have held more than 25 meetings with many temple authorities in the region."
Karnataka Law, Parliamentary Affairs and Higher Education Minister TB Jayachandra had said, "What Ibrahim has done is perfectly correct. He has just followed the rules of the Muzrai department. The state government is fully behind him and there is no question of removing his name just because some fanatic elements demand that."
The 10-day car festival is held on 17 April every year in the famous temple at Puttur, which attracts thousands of devotees from different parts of the state.