The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad high court on Saturday dismissed a public interest litigation (PIL) demanding lifting of the Uttar Pradesh government’s ban on Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s (VHP) proposed Chaurasi (84) Kos Parikrama, scheduled to begin on Sunday.
The bench of justice Laxmikant Mohapatra and justice DK Upadhyaya dismissed the PIL after hearing arguments of both sides. The petition was filed by a lawyer Mahesh Gupta who argued that saints and sadhus should be allowed their customary right to the parikrama.
Gupta said permission was sought from Faizabad’s district administration for the foot march, but instead the administration imposed Section 144 of CrPc curtailing the movement of the people in Ayodhya. The parikrama was to pass through six districts of Faizabad, Bahraich, Gonda, Basti, Ambedkarnagar and Barabanki.
Appearing on behalf of the government, additional advocate general Bulbul Godiyal raised objection about the maintainability of the PIL. She said the parikrama is not a regular feature and has been organised on such a large scale for the first time.
While rejecting the PIL, the court was also of the view that nowhere in the petition it had been stated that the parikrama was a customary ritual and was being performed regularly around Ayodhya.
However, during the course of the hearing, it was brought to the notice of the court that paanch (five) kosi and 14-kosi Parikrama is performed regularly in Ayodhya.
Another PIL on the same matter which has been filed by local lawyer Pramod Pandey will come up for hearing on Monday.