Observing that presence of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar’s statue in front of Vidhana Soudha amid ongoing construction work for Namma Metro “may endanger the statue itself,” the Karnataka High Court on Wednesday directed the State government and Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL) to remove it within 15 days.
A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Vikramjit Sen and Justice B.V. Nagarathna passed the order while allowing a public interest litigation (PIL) petition, filed by advocate A.V. Amaranthan. The petitioner said non-shifting of the statue following protest by some organisations would cause loss to the exchequer as BMRCL will have to spend more to carry out its work.
“There can be no cavil that if public interest requiring temporary removal of statue regardless of whose statue it may be, the government should not shirk from doing so. In the present case, statues of Jawaharlal Nehru and Subash Chandra Bose were shifted whereas that of Dr. Ambedkar remained. Meanwhile, work on the metro is being delayed,” the Bench observed.
The Bench directed the government and BMRCL to shift the statue temporarily to an appropriate site within the vicinity of Vidhana Soudha and to ensure that it suffers no damage during shifting.