The Karnataka High Court has ruled that the Sri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra, a trust established to build the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, does not qualify as a “State” under Article 12 of the Constitution.
Justice SG Pandit denied the request of a 71-year-old retired engineer who worked for the Central government to be appointed as Chief Engineer of the Trust on an honorarium basis.
Sri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra is a trust established by the government of India in February 2020 to oversee the construction and management of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya.
“Sri Rama Janma Bhumi Theertha Kshethra is not a state under Article 12 of the Indian Constitution, this writ would not be maintainable. There could be no writ issued to appoint petitioner as Chief Engineer at Sri Rama Janma Bhumi Theertha Kshethra.”
The petitioner claimed to be a retired Chief Engineer of the respondents-Central Government. Following his retirement, he was hired on a contract basis by the IIT for a two-year period to implement initiatives involving the IIT at Dharwad.
In response to the petition, Additional Solicitor General H Shanti Bhushan contended that the petitioner has no authority to seek any post, let alone one at the Ram Janmabhoomi Trust.
It was argued that the Trust did not fall under the term of “State” as defined in Article 12 of the Indian Constitution.
According to Advocate HM Umesh, the petitioner made representations in this regard, but they were dismissed. Even his request through the Grievance Redressal Web Portal was not properly considered and was refused, citing a sub judice matter.
The Bench agreed with this approach, ruling that the petitioner had no right to be appointed as the Trust’s Chief Engineer.
“I am of the view that the petitioner has no right to seek any appointment as Chief Engineer. Moreover, petitioner’s request is to appoint him as Chief Engineer for a period of three years at Sri Rama Janma Bhumi theertha Kshethra, for issuance of writ of mandamus one has to establish his legal right and corresponding legal duty on the authority to consider one’s request. Since the petitioner has no right and respondent has no duty to consider petitioner’s request, no relief could be granted in this writ petition.”
As a result, the petition was denied by the bench of Justice SG Pandit.
Case Title: Dr SP Raghunath v. Union of India and Others