Demolition of Corona Mata temple: SC dismisses PIL with ₹5,000 cost, says abuse of process

The apex court said if the petitioner’s contention is that this is her private land and the construction was done in accordance with the local norms, then she has not taken recourse to any appropriate legal remedy.

The Supreme Court has dismissed a PIL against the demolition of "Corona Mata Mandir", constructed by a woman along with her husband in Uttar Pradesh’s Pratapgarh district, calling it an "abuse of the process".

A bench of Justices S.K. Kaul and M.M. Sundresh junked the petition and imposed a cost of ₹ 5,000 on the petitioner, noting that the land on which the temple was built was disputed.

The apex court said if the petitioner’s contention is that this is her private land and the construction was done in accordance with the local norms, then she has not taken recourse to any appropriate legal remedy.

"So far, the petitioner has not constructed temples for all other possible diseases infecting the people of this country. The land itself was disputed as recorded. A police complaint was made in this behalf.”

"We are of the view that this is clearly an abuse of the process of jurisdiction of this Court under Article 32 of the Constitution of India. The writ petition is dismissed with costs of Rs 5,000 to be deposited with the Supreme Court Advocates on Record Welfare Fund within four weeks," the bench said.

The petitioner, Deepmala Srivastava, had moved the top court invoking the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court under Article 32 of the Constitution for infringement of Fundamental Right.

The "Corona Mata" temple was built at Juhi Shukulpur village in Pratapgarh, seeking divine grace to stay clear of the infection. The temple built on June 7 and was demolished on June 11 night. Villagers alleged that it was demolished by police, which denied the charge, saying it was constructed on a disputed site and one of the parties involved in the dispute razed it.

Villagers said the temple was constructed by Lokesh Kumar Srivastava with the help of donations from local residents. He installed the idol of "Corona Mata". Radhey Shyam Verma of the village was appointed its priest, after which people started offering prayers there.

Mr. Lokesh, who lives in Noida, jointly owns the land with Nagesh Kumar Srivastava and Jai Prakash Srivastava. He left the village for Noida after the temple was constructed.

Mr. Nagesh in his complaint to police said the temple was constructed to grab the land.

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