Supreme Court Dismisses Plea Challenging Alleged Illegal Excavation And Construction Work At Lord Jagannath Temple
The Supreme Court today dismissed the Special Leave Petition which had been filed challenging the order of the Odisha High Court which had allowed the Government to do excavation and construction work in the Lord Jagannath Temple.
The Supreme Court bench comprising of Justice B. R. Gavai and Justice Hima Kohli dismissed the petition with the imposition of cost of Rs. 1 lakh on the petitioners stating that there is no merit in the contentions of the Petitioners. The Court ordered that the cost should be deposited by the petitioners within a period of 4 weeks.
The Apex Court observed that "recently there has been a mushroom growth of Public Interest Litigations in the Supreme Court, we highly condemn the practice of filing such frivolous petitions and such practices should be nipped in the bud."
The Court had yesterday heard Senior Advocate Mahalakshmi Pavani and Senior Advocate Vinay Navare who had argued opposing the construction and excavation work going on inside the premises of Jagannath Puri stating that proper permission was not taken before beginning the excavation. They had also submitted that the construction and excavation should be taken up by the Archaeological Survey of India rather than that it had been given to TATA Projects Limited.
Opposing the Petitioners Advocate General of Odisha Ashok Kumar Parija submitted that the state is taking up the beautification project of the area and for those proper permissions were received. Senior Advocate Pinaki Misra also submitted that that during the period of Rath Yatra about 10 – 15 lakh people visit the temple and the people were facing difficulties. He submitted that, "There were no toilets, female devotees had to suffer it was a disaster for them so this is being done to provide better facilities."
The petitioners had approached the Supreme Court against the order of The High Court of Odisha at Cuttack. The High Court had allowed the excavation and construction work to continue. The petitioners had prayed for the grant of ex-parte ad-interim stay of the operation of the order of the High Court of Cuttack.