Allahabad HC hears PIL on Banke Bihari temple corridor

The Banke Bihari temple in Mathura in Uttar Pradesh is a private temple and the state government has no right to interfere in its functioning, the head priest submitted in the Allahabad High Court on Wednesday while opposing a PIL on the construction of a corridor there.

It was submitted on behalf of the temple sibayat (head priest) that the PIL was not maintainable.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Pritinker Diwaker and Justice Ashutosh Srivastava was hearing the public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Anand Sharma and another person from Mathura.

The hearing will resume on Friday next.

On Wednesday, the head priest submitted that the Banke Bihari temple is a private temple and thus the state government has no right to interfere in its functioning.

Appearing on behalf of the Uttar Pradesh government, Additional Advocate General Manish Goel submitted that the PIL has been filed with a prayer for a broader scheme to control the huge gathering of public and for the welfare of pilgrims.

He submitted that these two causes concern the public at large and therefore the state has come up with a scheme. For the construction of the corridor, land has to be purchased in the name of the deity and the state government is not going to interfere in the functioning of the “sibayat”.

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During the course of the hearing on Monday, it was alleged on behalf of the “sibayat” that the government’s intention behind the construction of the corridor was to change the status and structure of two temples and the Kunj gali in Vrindavan.

It was also said there are other ancient temples around the Banke Bihari temple that are going to be demolished by the Uttar Pradesh government.

During the course of the hearing earlier, the court was informed that the Uttar Pradesh government is planning to construct a corridor after acquiring a five-acre land adjacent to the Banke Bihari temple to create various facilities for the devotees. The court had asked the state government to clear its stand regarding managing the devotees visiting the temple in Brindavan in Mathura.

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