Allahabad: The Allahabad High Court on Monday dismissed a Public Interest Litigation seeking the removal of Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik for his reported statement favouring construction of a Ram temple at Ayodhya.
Passing the order, a division bench comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice Suneet Kumar said "continuance of the office of Governor cannot be scrutinized in writ jurisdiction by High Court."
The order was passed while dismissing the PIL of UP Chapter of Citizens for Democracy, filed through its Secretary Anand Malviya, in which a prayer had been made for issuing directions to the Centre that Naik "either be dismissed or transferred to another state".
The PIL had taken exception to a statement reportedly made by Naik during his visit to Faizabad last month in which he had favoured construction of a Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya.
It was alleged in the petition that the Governor's remarks were "mala fide" and "partisan" and that he had chosen to comment on a "sub judice" matter despite holding a constitutional post.
However, the PIL, which was also opposed by the state's Chief Standing Counsel Ramesh Upadhyay, was struck down by the court which pointed out that in the light of Article 156 of the Constitution which defines the "term of office of Governor", the court could not issue a direction for dismissing or transferring a person holding gubernatorial office.
The court also made it clear that the case did not fall under the purview of Article 226, wherein High Courts have been given powers to issue writs to governments and authorities with regard to matters falling under its territorial jurisdiction.