Prayagraj (UP), Nov 8 (PTI) The Allahabad High Court on Wednesday reserved its judgment in a matter involving the construction of a corridor for the Banke Bihari temple in Vrindavan.
A two-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Pritinkar Diwaker and Justice Ashutosh Srivastava was hearing the public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Anand Sharma and others seeking an inquiry into a stampede in the temple in August last year.
It was submitted on behalf of the temple sibayats (head priests) that they have no objection to the construction of the corridor for Banke Bihari temple if the government is not going to use the funds offered by devotees to the deity or interfering in the functioning and management of the temple.
In an application on behalf of the resident of Kunj gali, it was submitted that by construction of the corridor, the nature and importance of Kunj gali will be destroyed, which cannot be permitted.
Earlier it was also submitted on behalf of sibayats that this PIL itself is not maintainable and that the Bankey Bihari temple is a private temple and thus the state government has no right to interfere in its functioning.
On behalf of the state government, an Additional Advocate General had submitted before the court that the present PIL has been filed with a prayer for a broader scheme to control the huge gathering of the public and further regarding the welfare of pilgrims visiting there.
The proposal for construction of the corridor was moved following the death of two devotees in the stampede at the Bankey Bihari temple during Janmashtami celebrations last year.
During the course of hearing earlier, it was also alleged on behalf of sibayats that the government's intention behind the construction of the corridor wanted to change the status and structure of two temples and of Kunj gali of Vrindavan.
It was also said there are other ancient temples around the Banke Bihari temple that are going to be demolished by the Uttar Pradesh government.
The court was informed that the Uttar Pradesh government is planning to construct a corridor after acquiring a five-acre land adjacent to the Banke Bihari temple to create various facilities for the devotees. The court had asked the state government to clear its stand regarding managing the devotees visiting the temple in Brindavan in Mathura. PTI COR RAJ CK