Srimandir Parikrama Project: SC dismisses petitions challenging constructions around Jagannath Temple

New Delhi: The Supreme Court today dismissed two petitions filed alleging illegal excavation and construction activities by Odisha Government around the Jagannath Temple in Puri.

Terming the petitions as ‘frivolous’ and contrary to public interest, the apex court dismissed the petitions with cost of Rs 1 lakh each.

The court made it clear that the construction works undertaken by the State Government are  necessary in the larger public interest and are in tune with the Ancient Monuments and Archeological Sites and Remains Act 1958 and also with earlier directions issued by the Supreme Court in relation to the administration of the temple.

Puri MP Pinaki Mishra, appearing for a respondent, termed the judgment as ‘Lord Jagannath’s will’.

He submitted that around 15-20 lakh people visit Puri Jagannath Temple during the annual Ratha Jatra and there have been instances of stampedes in the past. Therefore, there was a need to vacate the area and increase the amenities for devotees.

Yesterday, a vacation bench comprising Justice BR Gavai and Justice Hima Kohli had reserved its orders in two special leave petitions challenging Orissa High Court’s order refusing to restrain the State Government from carrying out excavation work around the centuries old shrine under Srimandir Parikrama Project. 

 

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