NEW DELHI:The Delhi high court has ruled that the religious interests of any community cannot supersede the interests of public at large.
The remark came in a verdict that upheld the Central government’s decision to revoke its approval granting permission to the construction of a Jain temple on forest land at Chatra in Jharkhand.
“In the present case, the temple proposed to be built is meant for a religious community and their interests and the same cannot be allowed to supersede the interests of the public at large.
“Protection of forests and environment is essentially important in view of increasing emission of greenhouse gases”, a bench of Justice Manmohan said.
Referring to various apex court judgements, the court cited that “individual interest or smaller public interest must yield to larger public interest” and the inconvenience of some shall be bypassed for larger interest or cause of the society. Jain Shwetamber Kalyanaktirth Nayas had moved the court against the decision of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) by which it had on March 24, 2009, revoked the earlier approval for construction of a temple and other facilities on forest land.
Jains were in 2014 accorded the national religious minority status and they constitute about 4.5 lakh people in the country according to 2001 census.