Court rejects plea for temple construction in Ayodhya

Legal Correspondent

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday rejected a public interest litigation (PIL) petition of an architect, seeking permission to build a Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya.

A Bench, comprising Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justices R.V. Raveendran and J.M. Panchal, dismissed the petition filed by Mukesh Chauhan, who himself argued the case. He submitted that he had designed temples in many places in India, Mauritius and London and the Court should grant approval for building a Ram temple in Ayodhya.

The Chief Justice told him: “It is a disputed structure. The matter is pending here and other matters are also pending. At this stage we cannot direct the construction to anyone.”

When Mr. Chauhan persisted with his plea, Mr. Justice Balakrishnan asked him, “Whom should we grant permission.” He replied, “The approval could be given to anybody responsible for the movement on Ram temple. Be it the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), the Hindu Mahasabha, the Ram Lala Trust or any other Hindu organisation or to him.”

Dismissing the petition, the Chief Justice said, “We cannot grant approval to you. Suppose communal riots break out, can you take the responsibility? Can you take care of law and order problem in such a situation. The present prayer cannot be allowed.”

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