HC quashes govt order dissolving shrine panelUpdated: Sep 05, 2017 20:51 IST
NAINITAL: In what could be termed as an embarrassment for the Trivendra Singh Rawat-led BJP government, the high court on Tuesday quashed the order to dissolve the Badri Kedar Temple Committee (BKTC) that manages Badrinath and Kedarnath shrines.
Justice Sudhansu Dhulia gave a relief to the high-profile committee, saying that the government‘wrongly’ dissolved the BKTC.
The term of the BKTC is fixed at three years. BKTC chairman Ganesh Godiyal, a former Congress MLA, and other members were nominated during the erstwhile Congress rule. Soon after assuming office in March, the BJP government dissolved the committee in April even as the BKTC had more than two years to complete its term.
“The state government first dissolved the committee without any reason in April. We moved against the order and got the relief. The government again came up with a special appeal to the court of Chief Justice where from they were instructed to go back to the same court to decide. Now the single bench has quashed the state government order dated 8th June 2017 and resumed the BKTC,” petitioner Diwakar Chamoli, who moved a writ petition against the government decision, told Hindustan Times.
VBS Negi, former advocate general and cousel for the petitioner, said the court after hearing the two sides decided that the reasons that were given by the government to dissolve the committee were ‘unconstitutional’ and does not have a ‘meaningful reason’.
The opposition Congress had earlier strongly protested against the move, dubbing it as muzzling of democratic norms. The talk was that the government intended to indirectly control the temple committee and later appoint its leaders to the powerful body after dissolving the committee. Lakhs of Hindu devotees visit every year to the two revered shrines in Garhwal Himalayas.
In fact, this is the second time in the five months of the BJP government when the move was aimed at removing those appointed during the Congress regime. Earlier, the government had removed the chairpersons from the agro bodies called Mandi Parishads. But many of them moved the high court against the decision and managed to get relief.