The content of this judgement is written by Priyanshu Dixit. He is a content writing intern at Legal Thirst.
The supreme court on Friday dismissed two petitions filed against the construction and redevelopment works undertaken by the Odisha government at the iconic Shree Jagannath temple premises at puri.
Terming the petitions as frivolous and contrary to the public interest, the court dismissed them at a cost of one lakh each. The court held that the activities undertaken by the state are necessary for the larger public interest and are in tune with the ancient monuments and archeological sites and remains act 1958 and also with the earlier directions issued by the supreme court in relation to the administration of the temple.
A vacation bench comprising justice BR Gavai and justice Hima Kohli had yesterday reserved its orders in two special leave petitions filed challenging Odisha high court’s order refusing to restrain the state from carrying out any excavation in and around lord Jagannath temple, puri.
Senior advocate Mahalaxmi Pavani appearing in one of the petitions submitted that as per the ancient monuments and archeological sites and remains act 1958, the state government has to mandatorily obtain a NOC from the competent for carrying out any works on a protected site.
Advocate Vinay Navare appearing for the second petitioner supplemented the argument “what’s happening is excavating through heavy excavators more than 30 feet depth from the ground level, exactly adjacent to the western side of Meghanad Acheri, which is an integral part of the temple. Further, it has been alleged that cracks have been found in the temple and its wall.
They submitted that Shree Jagganath temple purihas been declared a monument of the ASMR act 1958.
Senior advocate Pinaki Mishra, appearing for a respondent submitted that during the annual rath yatra, around 15-20 lakh people visit the place and there have been instances of stampedes in the past. Therefore, there was a need to clear the area and also to increase the amenities for pilgrims.
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