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Frivolous PIL’s should be nipped in the bud, says SC in PIL against Jagannath temple

Updated: Jun 10, 2022

CASE: Ardhendu Kumar Das v. State of Odisha, 2022 (SC) 539

Shubhi Rathore | Edited By Prabhat Bandhulya

The Petitioner filed the Writ Petition challenging the construction work which is being carried out by the Respondents in the prohibited area of the Shree Jagannath Temple as the construction is ‘unsanctioned and unauthorised' because it violates the provisions of The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958 (hereinafter “the Act”). Moreover, there are irregularities in the construction work which can be revealed by inspection report and the Temple being an old building cannot survive the voluminous excavations carried out near it. Hence,the Petitioners were requesting the court to restrain the Respondents from carrying on the construction.

The Respondents submitted that as the Temple receives devotees in such a huge number there is a need to establish proper sanitation facilities for the same and therefore, there is a need to construct them. Additionally, as there is a rush in the temple some areas around the Temple are to be cleared for building a passage for the devotees as at present there are no proper facilities to maintain queues and discipline in the Temple.

The SC observed that the construction work carried out by the State is not prima facie objectionable and is in public interest as it is necessary for sanitation and are essential services. The court further stated that this PIL, rather than being in public interest appears to be against it. The court also noted that there has been a ‘mushroom growth’ of PIL’s, majority of which are not in public interest. Hence, it is high time such PIL’s are nipped in the bud. CASE: Ardhendu Kumar Das v. State of Odisha, 2022 (SC) 539

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