HC seeks counter-affidavit from Swamy in PIL challenging Devsthanam Board formation
Hearing on the public interest litigation filed by Rajya Sabha MP and senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy challenging the establishment of Char Dham Devsthanam Management Board in the state, the Uttarakhand high court has directed the petitioner to file a counter affidavit by June 22.The state government submitted its reply in the court on Thursday after which the division bench of chief justice Ramesh Ranganathan and justice RC Khulbe set the next date for hearing of the petition on June 22.
It will be recalled that the Rajya Sabha MP had filed the PIL in the high court contending that the Char Dham Devsthanam Management Board formed by the State government is unconstitutional. The petitioner has stated that the state government taking over management of the Char Dham shrines and 51 other temples under the control of the said board is a violation of articles 25 and 26 of the Indian constitution. The government’s decision had caused major discontentment among the priests of the affected shrines. According to to Swamy, in the past, similar decisions had also been taken by the state governments of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Maharashtra. He had filed a petition challenging these in the Supreme Court and had won the case. There are various decisions of the Supreme Court already in this matter. In the past the states where such decisions were taken had kept only temples under control while keeping mosques and churches out of the ambit of their decisions. Stating that the logic of Uttarakhand government is actually illogical, Swamy has requested in his petition that the government abstains from any further action till the court pronounces its judgement in his PIL. However, shortly after Swamy filed the petition challenging the formation of the Char Dham Devsthanam Management Board, the state government appointed an official as the chief executive officer of the board, which shows the intentions of the government, he said.
Friday, 12 June 2020 | PNS | Nainital
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