The Bombay High Court on Sunday dismissed the plea filed against the Maharashtra government's decision to declare January 22 as a state holiday on the occasion of the consecration of Ram Mandir at Ayodhya.
"Plea filed for extraneous reasons and blatant abuse of process of law," observed a special bench comprising Justices Girish Kulkarni and Neela Gokhale.
The Bombay HC observed that the petition has political overtones. "It appears to be politically motivated and also a publicity interest petition," it said.
The Maharashtra government had issued a notification on January 19, declaring a state holiday on January 22.
4 law students had challenged Maha govt's order
Earlier on Saturday, four law students approached the Bombay High Court challenging Maharashtra government’s decision to declare January 22 as a state holiday on the occasion of consecration of Ram Mandir at Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh.
An application was moved on Saturday before the HC registry seeking an urgent hearing of the petition.
The plea, filed by Shivangi Agarwal, Satyajeet Salve, Vedant Agarwal and Khushi Bangia, contended that the government’s decision to declare a public holiday, keeping the ensuing parliamentary elections in mind, was a “gross abuse of power for political purposes”.
Petition sought a stay on Maha govt order
As an interim relief, they had sought a stay on the January 19 notification pending the hearing of their petition.
Consecration of a temple is an essential religious practice associated with Hindu religion and therefore cannot be in any manner a concern of the Government. Any steps taken by the Government including declaration of public holiday for celebrating the consecration of a Hindu temple is nothing but an act of identifying with a particular religion, the plea contended.
“An act of the Government in celebrating and openly participating in the consecration of a Hindu temple thereby associating with a particular religion is nothing but a direct attack on the principles of secularism,” the PIL read.