HC completes hearing on Swamy’s petition against Devsthanam Board, judgement reserved
The Uttarakhand High Court has completed hearing in the public interest litigation filed by Rajya Sabha MP and BJP leader Subramanian Swamy challenging the constitutional validity of the Char Dham Devsthanam Management Board formed by the State government. The judgement has been reserved by the division bench of chief justice Ramesh Ranganathan and justice RC Khulbe which had been hearing the case since June 29.
Swamy has contended that the Devsthanam Act is unconstitutional stating that it violates articles 25, 26 and 32 of the Indian constitution. The act makes the chief minister the head of the board whereas his task is to run the government. The CM is a public representative and there is no justification for him being in the board. The temple committee was already in existence for management of the Char Dham and associated shrines, the petitioner had stated. In response, the government had stated that the act is constitutional and does not violate the said articles of the constitution. The act has been drafted with considerable transparency. A record of the offerings being made in the temples is being maintained. Terming the PIL baseless, the government counsel had sought that it be quashed. The counsel for Rural Litigation and Entitlement Kendra (RLEK) which had filed an intervention petition supporting the board also cited various references to justify the validity of the board. He referred to portions of the Manu Smriti, Atkinson’s gazetteer and other records to support the formation of the Devsthanam Board, adding that it did not hurt the sentiments of Hindus. Hearing all the parties, the division bench has reserved its judgement.
Tuesday, 07 July 2020 | PNS | Dehradun
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