Wednesday, April 1, 2015

HC issues contempt notice over Nandasan temple not being razed

Gujarat high court issued a contempt of court notice to Mehsana district authorities for not following orders to pull down a temple at Nandasan town, which was being constructed illegally on grazing land.

A bench of Justice Akil Kureshi and Justice J B Pardiwala asked the officials to explain their act of ignoring the court order from August last year. This happened after the original petitioner, Vishnu Raval, brought it to the court's notice that neither the authorities nor those involved in the construction had moved the Supreme Court, but the district panchayat president cited an appeal in the apex court and ordered a stay on the demolition ordered by the HC.

Raval's lawyer, demanded action against those responsible for not implementing the court's order on the basis of an alleged blatant lie in the name of pendency in the SC. The HC sought a reply to this by April 24.

In Nandasan village of Kadi block, a temple was coming up on a 2,280-square metre plot of grazing land since 2009. The HC intervened in response to a PIL by Raval, who complained against the illegal construction and against the authorities turning a blind eye to it despite various complaints being made in this regard.

The HC ordered the village panchayat to remove the temple from the gauchar land and showed grave concern. "We expect the gram panchayat to proceed full steam ahead in taking action against encroachers of gauchar land and to ensure that illegal construction is removed as early as possible, of course, after following due process of law. This shall be completed by the taluka panchayat, which shall ensure that the village panchayat does not fail in carrying out these directions."

The HC even warned the sarpanch that he could be removed for inaction.

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