The Supreme Court on Tuesday banned unauthorised construction of any temple, church, mosque or gurdwara in public streets/public spaces across the country with immediate effect.
A Bench, consisting of Justices Dalveer Bhandari and Mukundakam Sharma, in its interim order, directed all States and Union Territories to ensure that “no unauthorised construction of any religious institution, namely, temple, church, mosque or gurdwara, etc, shall be permitted on public street/public space.”
The order was passed on a submission by Solicitor-General (SG) Gopal Subramaniam that consensus emerged at a meeting Union Home Secretary Gopal K. Pillai had with the State Chief Secretaries on September 17 on the problem of religious structures encroaching on public spaces. On July 31, the court asked Mr. Subramaniam to consider banning such unauthorised constructions across the country. The SG responded, producing a copy of the letter the Home Secretary wrote to him, and said the court could pass an interim order on the basis of this letter, which made it clear that no unauthorised construction of any religious institution “shall be permitted on public street/public space.”
The Bench incorporated the contents of the Home Secretary’s letter in the order.