SC notice to Centre, UP on easing checks on worship at Ayodhya

via PTI published on April 23, 2010

New Delhi, Apr 23

The Supreme Court today sought a response from the Centre and Uttar Pradesh government on a plea for removing alleged unreasonable restrictions imposed by the authorities in Ayodhya on worshipping of Lord Rama in the temple at the disputed site.

A Bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices A K Ganguly and B S Chauhan also issued notices to Faizabad District Commissioner and others on an application filed by Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy alleging that unreasonable and unnecessarily harsh regulations have been imposed on the puja.

The Bench granted four weeks for filing of the response and objections to the application and posted the matter for hearing on August 31.

The Janata Party leader has contended the regulations imposed on the puja by Uttar Pradesh government in consultation with the Statutory Receiver, the Commissioner, Faizabad District, were unreasonable and unnecessarily harsh.

“According to this applicant (Swamy), these (regulations) are highly derogatory, humiliating and unreasonable and particularly harsh on aged, infirm or even female devotees,” the affidavit placed by him in support of his application before the bench said.

He said the restrictions imposed 16 years ago has been causing hardships for performing puja.

Swamy had said the matter has to be heard urgently as the question of public health and morality arises in it and he was “seeking relief on behalf of the devotees”.

 Swamy had sought that the “overzealous oppressive restrictions” be relaxed within the main framework of the ingredients of the status quo ordered in Section 7(2) of the Acquisition of Certain Areas Ayodhya Act.

He had submitted that the earlier order of the apex court on May 10, 1996, directing maintaining of status quo had stayed all “the humane directions passed by the Allahabad High Court to facilitate and ameliorate the conditions for Hindu pilgrims visiting the shrine.”

Swamy had further submitted that the status quo order passed by the apex court in the special leave petition pending before it was acting as a hindrance and sought implementation of the directions passed by the High Court.

During the earlier hearing, Swamy had clarified that he was not raising the question of whether Ram temple be built at the site or not but restricting his prayers to worship of Lord Rama in the makeshift temple.

On January 29, he had submitted that irrespective of the final outcome relating to the title deed dispute pending in the Allahabad High Court, the authorities should ensure adequate arrangements for devotees to have a ‘darshan’ of the idols. Denial of the same was violative of their fundamental rights, he had said.

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