HC censures city Govt. for failing to remove illegally constructed temple on footpath

The Delhi High Court on Thursday came down heavily on the city Government for failing to remove an illegally constructed temple on a footpath at Bhishma Pitamah Marg in south Delhi’s Defence Colony here.

Justice Rekha Palli questioned the decision of the government to refer the matter to a religious committee, headed by the Lieutenant-Governor, saying how “just a few bricks put by somebody overnight will fall within the scope of the religious committee’s mandate”.

‘Total chaos’

Justice Palli remarked that if such structures are allowed to come up unabated in the Capital, it will lead to total chaos. If somebody puts an idol overnight outside the High Court or anywhere in the Capital, will the government refer the issue to the religious committee, Justice Palli questioned the Delhi government.

The court said the illegal structure at Defence Colony was not even an old one. It consists of a few bricks with some idols which had come overnight last December, said the court.

The Delhi Government’s counsel said they are following the norms and the religious committee is looking into whether the structure is needed to be relocated. The counsel said there may be law and order situation issue if the demolition is carried out.

The High Court will hear the case again on October 26.

The court was hearing the petition of a man who had sought removal of encroachment in front of his property at Defence Colony. The man said during the COVID-19 pandemic, unknown persons trespassed and constructed a temple on the footpath in front of his property. He stated that taking advantage of the illegal construction, people gather there and indulge in “rowdiness and gambling” and are also suspected to be “drinking alcohol and consuming illegal substances”.

The petitioner said the illegal structure and the gatherings behind it impede full access to his property.

Earlier, the Delhi Government had told the High Court that the authorities were “conscious of its duty” and had planned to demolish the illegal encroachment at the said site on October 4.

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Printable version | Dec 8, 2021 2:51:57 AM |

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