Sunday, September 17, 2017

HC condemns encroachment by religious structures

Gujarat high court has once again condemned the encroachment on public land by religious structures, and said that asking to legitimize such encroachment "is nothing but an insult to God."

The HC also told the government that it is high time that it should take prompt and appropriate steps to clear all encroachments across the state. "It should not make any difference whether it is a temple or a house or any other religious structure. If the same is constructed by encroaching upon government land, it has got to be demolished at the earliest," the HC order reads.

The case pertains to a 100-year-old temple situated in Vadaj area. The government ordered removal of the temple saying that it was built on government land and without any permission. The temple trust's - Navdurga Charitable Trust - request to regularize the 1,300 sq metre plot on prime land was rejected by the revenue authorities.

The religious trust knocked on the HC's door to protect the old temple and said that public's religious sentiments are attached with the temple. People have a lot of faith in the deity of the temple. If it is demolished, it would hurt religious sentiments at large. It urged the court to consider the issue sympathetically.

Justice J B Pardiwala was not convinced with the argument and observed, "The court of law should not decide matters on basis of religious sentiments of the people at large." He further observed that the court should act logically and its decisions must be tenable within the framework of law. Court's decisions should not incur and justify the criticism that jurisdiction of courts tends to degenerate into misplaced sympathy and generosity and private benevolence, observed the court.

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