//SC stays Gujarat HC order on demolition

SC stays Gujarat HC order on demolition

[ Thursday, May 04, 2006 04:50:34 pmPTI ]

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday stayed the Gujarat High Court order directing authorities to remove all religious structures that were encroaching upon public spaces across the state without any discrimination.

The order to this effect was passed by a Bench comprising Justice Ruma Pal and Justice Dalveer Bhandari on an urgent plea made by the Centre during the mentioning hour seeking to stay the May two High Court directions.

Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramanian said the High Court had taken suo motu action based on a newspaper report without verifying the facts.

Quoting Home Ministry report, he said situation in Vadodara was tense after the violence and army has staged a flag march in the riot-affected areas.

Vadodara was hit by the violence after the demolition of a Dargah.

The High Court has treated as writ petition a news report published in a national daily highlighting various religious structures encroaching the public places and had directed the authorities to take necessary action and reply by May 5.

The High Court had pulled up the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) and Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority (AUDA) for being "silent spectators" regarding encroachments on public places by religious structures.

It had directed that encroachment causing traffic problems should be demolished zone wise or phase wise.

According to the news report, there were 1200 temples and 260 Islamic shrines encroaching on public spaces according to a survey conducted by AMC.