The Gujarat High Court on Wednesday sought the government's reply on a public interest litigation which calls setting up of the Pavitra Yatradham Board illegal as it promotes pilgrimage sites of only one religion.
The Pavitra Yatradham Board was set up by the Gujarat government in 1997 to promote pilgrimage sites in the state.
The PIL filed by Mujahid Nafees said the Board announced its first list of six religious sites -- Ambaji, Dakor, Girnar, Palithana, Somnath and Dwarka -- for promotion as "Pavitra yatradham" (holy pilgrimage sites) in August 1997.
Over time, the list grew to 358 places, but "not a single religious site of other religions (apart from Hinduism) has been included", said the PIL, filed through advocate K R Koshti.
"The action of the state government in selecting only a particular religion for promoting its religious spots is arbitrary, discriminatory and unconstitutional and therefore the same deserves to be quashed and set aside," the PIL said.
"Taxes and proceeds collected from citizens should not be spent over the promotion and maintenance of religious sites of a particular religion," it said.
"Therefore, the constitution of the Pavitra Yatradham Board is in contravention of the provisions of the Constitution," it alleged.
(With inputs from agencies.)