Lucknow: The Allahabad High Court on Thursday reserved its order on a PIL challenging imposition of prohibitory orders by DMs of several districts around Ayodhya in view of VHP`s yatra last month.
A division bench of the court, comprising Justices Imtiyaz Murtaza and Devendra Kumar Upadhaya, was hearing the PIL filed by NGO `Hindu Front for Justice` through its seven associate members who are practising advocates of the High Court.
The petitioner sought a direction to quash the DMs` orders passed under Section 144 of CrPC for maintaining peace and tranquillity.
Petitioners` counsel Hari Shankar Jain argued that under Article 25 of the Constitution, every citizen has the right to practice and propagate his religion.
But on account of the orders by the district magistrates of Faizabad, Barabanki, Gonda, Basti and Ambedkarnagar, the petitioner said he and other devotees could not participate in the parikrama (yatra), which as per Hindu belief and ritual, can be held any time of the year.
They said the orders under Section 144 were violative of fundamental rights of free religious practice of devotees, and the orders imposed on August 18 and thereafter in view of Vishwa Hindu Parishad`s 84 kosi parikrama are liable to be quashed.
The PIL was opposed by the state government, with additional government advocate Madhulika Yadav saying the orders of the DMs were completely valid as they had received information from various sources that peace may be disturbed on account of the yatra.
Earlier last month, VHP had given a call for 84 kosi parikrama starting August 25 but the state government had banned it.