NEW DELHI : The Allahabad High Court on Tuesday allowed the withdrawal of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) plea seeking a direction to the Uttar Pradesh government to seal the entire Gyanvapi Mosque premises affecting the ASI survey order of the Varanasi court upheld by it and the Supreme Court.
The PIL, which also sought a ban on entry of non-Hindus at the disputed site, was moved by the chief of the Vishwa Vedic Sanatan Sangh (VVSS), Jitendra Singh Visen, Rakhi Singh and others through Advocate Saurabh Tiwary, Livelaw network reported.
When the matter came up for hearing before a bench of Chief Justice Pritinker Diwaker and Justice Ashutosh Srivastava, the CJ asked the petitioners’ counsel as to how the court could prohibit the entry of non-Hindus into the temple. He also inquired from the counsel as to how he could say that only non-Hindus would damage the Hindu signs and symbols.
The bench also said that the reliefs claimed in the PIL plea could very well be claimed in the suit itself which is pending before the Varanasi court.
To this, the counsel for the petitioners said that the prayers are different in the plaint (before the Varanasi court) and in the PIL plea. It was also argued that in the plaint, only a right to pray has been sought and in the instant PIL plea, protection of artefacts related to Hindus is being sought. However, Justice Srivastava remarked that since the petitioners are already availing of a remedy before the district court, they can amend the plaint there, and can file for injunction there.
Further, when the petitioners’ counsel claimed that the Hindu structure was being damaged at the disputed site, the court wondered how could the damage be caused when everything was being recorded and photographs were being taken of whatever artefacts were found.
During the course of the hearing, the petitioners’ counsel kept on insisting that there were photographs attached and that someone was destroying the artefacts related to the Hindus. However, despite the query of the court, the counsel did not divulge details as to who was sending him photos, etc. Further taking into account the submissions of the AAG Manish Goyal that the court orders are being followed, the court found no merits in the PIL plea and asked the counsel for the petitioners to either withdraw the petition or get an order on merits. In view of this, the counsel decided to withdraw it and hence the PIL was dismissed as withdrawn. ( With PTI inputs )