By OUR STAFF REPORTER
Dehradun, 1 Jul: Uttarakhand Government today defended constitution of the Devasthanam Board during a hearing on the PIL filed by MP Subramanian Swamy in the Uttarakhand High Court.
Swamy had on Monday completed his arguments against the Board, claiming the government move was ultra vires of Articles 25 and 26 of the Constitution.
On the other hand, Advocate General SN Babulkar, arguing on behalf of the state government, claimed that the act had been legislated with full transparency and in the interest of the state and the pilgrims.
Under the provisions of the act, a proper record was being maintained of the offerings made at the Char Dham temples.
Strangely, RLEK, an NGO, also submitted its arguments and supported the move of the government. RLEK, through its counsel, claimed that there was no violation of any article of the constitution in framing the Act for the Devasthanam Board and it was totally constitutional. It was further claimed that the Devasthanam Board would ensure better facilities for the devotees and better management of the temples.
Babulkar further claimed that petition filed by Swamy was frivolous and ought to be dismissed.
It may be recalled that Swamy, on the other hand, had claimed that the constitution of Devasthanam Board was against the spirit of the similar judgements by various high courts and the Supreme Court taken in the past on his petitions. Swamy is expected to respond to the arguments put forward by the government and RLEK and demand nullification of the board itself. The final decision is expected any day now.