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Dalai Lama served notice over Buddha park in Patna


Patna : The Patna High Court Thursday issued notice to the Dalai Lama and the Bihar government on a suit seeking to restrain the inauguration of the Buddha Smriti Park here May 27 by the Tibetan spiritual leader.

The notices were issued by a division bench on public interest litigation (PIL) filed by advocate Shruti Singh. The court has given the Dalai Lama and the Bihar government 12 weeks’ time to file their replies.

The petitioner moved the court Tuesday seeking a stay on the Bihar government’s inauguration plan on the ground that the park promotes a particular religion in violation of the constitution.

Singh said the plea was filed on the basis that India is a secular state and the Bihar government has no right to promote a particular religion by constructing a park in the name of the Buddha alone.

“A secular state cannot violate the constitution by providing land for a park dedicated to a particular religion,” Singh told IANS.

Official sources said the park’s inauguration will be a gala international event. Delegations from Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Japan and Thailand are expected attend the prayer ceremony at the inaugural function to be presided over by the Dalai Lama May 27, the sources said.

The park is located near the Patna railway station and is spread over 20 acres of prime land located in the heart of the city. The project’s cost is estimated to be more than Rs.125 crore ($2.5 million).