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Bombay HC drops appeal against Maharashtra’s Jan 22 public holiday.

Bombay High Court PTI PhotoMUMBAI: The Bombay High Court on Sunday dismissed a PIL filed by four students against the Maharashtra government’s decision declaring a public holiday on January 22, on the occasion of the Ram temple consecration ceremony in Ayodhya.

A bench of Justices Girish Kulkarni and Neela Gokhale, which held a special hearing on Sunday for the public interest litigation (PIL) filed by four law students from Maharashtra and Gujarat, noted the petition was “politically motivated, frivolous and vexatious”.

The HC advised the students to “utilise their time in doing better things”.

The bench said normally the court while dismissing such a petition would impose an exemplary cost on the petitioner, but it was refraining from doing so as the petitioners here are young students and hence a word of caution would suffice.

The Maharashtra government argued that to declare a holiday falls within the executive policy decision of the government and should not fall for judicial scrutiny.

The students in their plea claimed the decision to declare a public holiday keeping an eye over the upcoming parliamentary elections was a “gross abuse of power for political purposes”.

The petition, filed by Shivangi Agarwal, Satyajeet Salve, Vedant Agarwal and Khushi Bangia, sought that the HC quash the government order declaring a holiday on January 22.

“The petition has political overtones and it appears to be a petition that is politically motivated and a publicity interest litigation. A glare for publicity seems to be apparent from the tenor of the petition and the arguments made in the open court,” the bench said.

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