Ravidas Temple demolition: Supreme Court says its orders cannot be given ‘political colour’

The Supreme Court asked governments of Punjab, Haryana and Delhi to ensure that no law and order situation is created during the protests over demolition of the Ravidas Temple.

Published - August 19, 2019 06:21 pm IST - New Delhi

The Supreme Court on August 19 said that its orders on the Guru Ravidas Temple in Tughlaqabad forest area in New Delhi cannot be given a “political colour”.

A Bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra and M.R. Shah asked governments of Punjab, Haryana and Delhi to ensure that no law and order situation is created politically or otherwise during the protests over the demolition of temple.

“Everything cannot be political. Our orders can’t be given a political colour by anybody on earth” the Bench said.

The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) had demolished the temple pursuant to the orders of the apex court, which had on August 9 observed that “serious breach” had been committed by Guru Ravidas Jayanti Samaroh Samiti by not vacating the forest area as earlier ordered by the top court.

Following the demolition of the 500-year-old temple, protests have been staged at several places in Punjab and Delhi by political parties and members of the Dalit community.

At the outset, Attorney General K.K. Venugopal, who was on August 13 asked by the top court to assist in the matter, said that demolition of the temple has been carried out by DDA in pursuance to the top court order and a total of 18 organisations are staging protests against it.

Mr. Venugopal told the Bench that since a number of organisations have been agitating against the demolition it is very difficult to pinpoint a particular person behind the protests.

To this, the Bench said in case the matter is settled, there is no difficulty but if the issue remains the court will take up the matter for hearing.

Mr. Venugopal then told the Bench that it should direct governments of Punjab, Haryana and Delhi to ensure that the law and order situation is maintained.

The Bench asked governments of Punjab, Haryana and Delhi to ensure that “no law and order situation is created politically or otherwise”.

The Bench has posted the matter for further hearing after three weeks.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had said that he will lead a delegation of Ravidas community members to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking his intervention in the matter.

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief Sukhbir Singh Badal also said on August 15 that a SAD-BJP delegation will soon meet the Prime Minister and urge him to provide a piece of land for rebuilding the temple.

The top court had earlier warned against politicising the temple’s demolition threatening to initiate contempt proceedings against those provoking dharnas and demonstrations.

“Don’t speak a word and don’t aggravate the issue. You are in for contempt. We will haul up your entire management. We will see what has to be done,” the Bench had said.

The Bench had also said that it will not tolerate criticism of the judgement which has been passed by the top court.

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