Allahabad HC rejects petition seeking stay on Ram Temple ‘bhoomi pujan’ amid COVID-19 crisis

The Allahabad High Court on Friday rejected a petition seeking a stay on the Bhoomi Pujan ahead of the commencement of Ram Temple construction in Ayodhya on August 5, calling it a violation of the Centre’s Unlock 2.0 guidelines in view of COVID-19 crisis.

Allahabad HC rejects petition seeking stay on Ram Temple ‘bhoomi pujan’ amid COVID-19 crisis
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Prayagraj: The Allahabad High Court on Friday (July 24, 2020) rejected a petition seeking a stay on the Bhoomi Pujan ahead of the commencement of Ram Temple construction in Ayodhya on August 5, calling it a violation of the Centre’s Unlock 2.0 guidelines in view of COVID-19 crisis.

The high court, while dismissing the plea, stated that it is ''based on fiction.''   

The plea, filed by Delhi-based lawyer Saket Gokhale on Wednesday, stated that as an estimate of around 200 people will likely attend the event which is a violation of the Centre’s guidelines. 

The plea pointed out that there is a risk of coronavirus infection spreading due to the religious gathering. Gokhale, who has worked in many news publications abroad, is also a social activist.

Taking to microblogging site Twitter, Gokhale said he had filed a PIL in the interest of public health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

He wrote, "I've filed a Letter PIL with the Allahabad High Court seeking a stay on the Ram Mandir event in Ayodhya in view of the Unlock 2.0 guidelines & in the interest of public health during a pandemic. Dunno what comes out of it but we must not stop doing the right thing & speaking up."

In the petition, along with the Ram Mandir Trust, the central government has also been made a party.

The Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teertha Kshetra Trust, which is overseeing the construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya, has invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to lay the foundation stone of the temple.

The Trust has invited around 200 guests which includes Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.