On Friday (20th November 2020), the Division Bench which consisted of two judges Justice Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad dismissed an application filed by Shri. Hanuman Seva Samiti.
This application was filed for seeking intervention and stay on the demolition of the Hanuman Temple at Chandni Chowk. An urgency was expressed by Advocate Rushabh Aggarwal, due to which the application though not listed had been taken up by the court. Shri. ManokamnaSiddh Shri. Hanuman Seva Samiti which is a registered Society moved this application, praying inter alia for intervention in the writ petition.
The application was filed to protect the temple from demolition being undertaken by Nr.D.M.C. vide demolition order served on 31st October 2020. 1st November 2020 was the date for demolition, but it has not yet been carried out. It was argued by the applicant that, the temple in its existing form did not cause any hindrance to the commuting vehicle. GNCTD and Lt. Governor of Delhi approved the plan of amalgamating the existing temple in the redevelopment plan. It was their contention that this report should not have been overruled in a summary manner. An order dated 14th November 2019 passed by the court directed removal of the Hanuman Temple without giving any opportunity of being heard to the affected party that is the devotees. Branding of the temple as encroachment by one party cannot be the sole reason for demolition. Religious tolerance and equal treatment of all religious groups and the protection of their life and property and place of worship are an essential part of secularism enriched in the Constitution. The applicant prayed to be allowed to be impleaded in the Writ Petition as an intervenor on the above-mentioned grounds. Vide an order dated 13th July 2020, the Supreme Court had disposed of the SLP in view of the statement made on behalf of the Government of NCT that it would move a suitable application before the High Court for further directions, as may be warranted which was filed by the Government of NCT. The application was dismissed by the Court for intervention on the ground that when GNCTD had been granted the liberty to approach the court as per the Order of the Supreme Court and had so far not approached the court for any relief which led to the conclusion that there was no reason to entertain this application and the application was nothing but an attempt to agitate an order dated 14th November 2019 which was on the same issue that has been considered and rejected. An application moved by GNCTD was allowed by the bench praying for permission to change the presently functioning Nodal Officer, Sh. Ravi Kant, SE Project, PWD on the ground that he has been appointed to the post of Chief Engineer (Civil), DDA.