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Supreme Court Rejects PIL Against Construction Around Puri Srimandir as part of the Srimandir Heritage Corridor Project

New Delhi:3/6/22: The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a batch of petitions against excavation and construction work by the Odisha government along the Shree Jagannath temple in Puri as part of the Srimandir Heritage Corridor Project. The petitioners alleged that the construction work would damage the heritage site.

A Bench of Justices BR Gavai and Hima Kohli said that the plea was a publicity interest litigation and such petitions need to be nipped in the bud since they waste the time of the courts.

“In the recent past there is a mushroom growth there is an increase of publicity interest litigation. We deprecate the practice of filing such PIL. It’s a waste of judicial time and it needs to be nipped in bud so that development work is not stalled,” the Court said.

The two-judge bench has imposed a cost of Rs 1 lakh on each of the PIL petitioners to be paid to State of Odisha within a month of this judgment.

The top court was hearing a challenge to an Orissa High Court order that had allowed the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to conduct a survey assessing the damage, if any, caused by construction activity around the temple.

The challenge was on the grounds that the High Court should have restrained further construction activity in the interim and that the permission the State had obtained for the same was not in accordance with law.

The plea contended that the construction was causing cracks in the foundations of the temple.

The construction by the State government was towards the Puri Srimandir Parikrama Project (temple heritage corridor), with the excavation particularly effecting an outer wall called the Meghanad Pacheri, the petitioners contended.

The Supreme Court noted in its order that the construction was in consonance with the earlier order of the apex court in Mrinalini Padhi case.

“Can a state be denied to make necessary arrangements to provide basic facilities to devotees? The answer is an emphatic no. Activity undertaken is in sync with our earlier order of Mrinalini Padhi case,” the top court stated.

About Editor in chief

Ashok Palit has completed his graduation from Upendranath College Soro, Balasore and post graduation from Utkal University in Odia Language and literture.. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a scribe of eminence after joining the profession in 1988. He is also an independent media production professional. He brings loads of experience to Advanced Media, Ashok Palit as a cineaste has been active in film criticism for over three decades. As a film society activist, he soared to eminence for his profound commitment to the art film appreciation and aesthetics of cinema. His mode of discourse is often erudite but always lucid and comprehensible marked by a perfect acumen so rare in the field. A film aesthete with an immense fond of critical sensibilities, he wrote about growth and development of odia cinema in New Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Asian Age and Screen. He has been working as an Editor for Cine Samaya from 2002-2004.. He had made solid contribution on cinema in many odia Dailies and weekly such as Samaj, Prajatantra, Dharatri, Samaya, Satabadi, and weekly Samaya.
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