Delhi HC rejects plea to halt demolition of temple encroaching on road

Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad dismissed the appeal and declined to grant additional time for shifting the idols and religious objects from the temple to other temples

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The Delhi High Court has rejected an appeal challenging the decision to demolish a 55-year-old Kali temple located at Mayapuri Chowk in Delhi. The temple was found to be unauthorised and causing traffic congestion.

Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad dismissed the appeal and declined to grant additional time for shifting the idols and religious objects from the temple to other temples.

The appeal was filed by Durga P Mishra, the temple’s priest and caretaker, who disagreed with the single judge’s decision on May 11. Mishra also sought to invalidate a notice issued by the Public Works Department (PWD) on April 25, as well as the minutes of the Religious Committee meeting where the decision to demolish the Kali Mata Mandir was made.

Mishra’s lawyer, Advocate Sunil Fernandes, argued that the single judge did not properly consider the case and that due process was not followed. Fernandes requested a one-month extension to remove the idols and religious objects from the temple, but the bench denied the request.

In the May 11 order, the single judge granted the priest one week to relocate the idols and religious objects as directed by the Religious Committee. After May 20, the PWD would be permitted to proceed with the demolition. The single judge determined that the temple was an unauthorized structure situated on the main road, obstructing traffic flow, based on the minutes of the Religious Committee meeting.

The priest contended that although the temple was built on public land, it did not cause traffic congestion. The argument put forward was that the issue was due to vehicles parked behind the temple in the shopping area. However, the single judge examined the sketch and photographs provided and concluded that the temple encroached upon government land, including the pedestrian footpath and the road.

The single judge had instructed the local police to provide assistance during the demolition process to ensure law and order. (With inputs from PTI )

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