38.6c New Delhi, India, Monday, July 22, 2024
Judiciary

Delhi HC refuses to stop demolition of Shiv Temple without notice, says, "Lord Shiv doesn't need our protection, rather we seek his protection [Read Judgment]

By Shreya Agarwal      30 May, 2024 06:33 PM      0 Comments
Delhi HC refuses to stop demolition of Shiv Temple without notice says Lord Shiv doesnt need our protection rather we seek his protection

NEW DELHI: Refusing to interfere with an order for demolition of a temple of Bhagwan Shiv situated on the Yamuna rivers floodplain in Delhi NCR, without a notice to the occupant society, the Delhi High Court remarked, It goes without saying that Lord Shiva does not need our protection; rather, we, the people, seek his protection and blessings.    

Importantly, while the Court reasoned that it unhesitatingly finds that the petitioner society has miserably failed to demonstrate any legal rights existing with it so as to continue to use and occupy the civic property for running the temple services, it gave no reasoning as to why the Samiti was not served a notice for an opportunity of hearing in the matter at all in terms of the well-settled law in the case of Olga Tellis v. Bombay Municipal Corporation.

This is despite the fact that the petitioner Society relied on a case law which in turn was based on the ratio decidendi of the landmark Olga Tellis judgment of the Supreme Court.

The Court in the present case rejected the petitioner Societys reliance on the Ms Hnunpuii v. Municipal Corporation of Delhi judgment of the Delhi High Court.

The Court had held therein, that there can be no question of demolishing any property on the ground that it is unauthorized, until and unless the person owning the property and/or in possession of/residing in the property, are given an adequate opportunity of hearing and due principles of natural justice are complied with.

It is also no answer to compliance with the principles of natural justice to contend that, if an opportunity was granted, the persons affected would not have had any defense to offer. This is the position in law since the time of Olga Tellis v. Bombay Municipal Corporation.

Rejecting the reliance, the Court said that the context of the said judgment differed from the present case, however, it offered no reasoning as to how it was dispensing with the requirements of the Olga Tellis judgment when the Ms Hnunpuii case itself relied heavily on it.

Further, the single judge bench of Justice Dharmesh Sharma expressed the opinion that the petitioner Pracheen Shiv Mandir Avam Akhada Samitis half-hearted plea that Lord Shiva, being the deity of the temple, must be also impleaded in the present matter is a desperate attempt to give an altogether different colour to the entire dispute to sub-serve the vested interest of its members.

There could be no iota of doubt that Lord Shiva would be happier if the Yamuna River bed and the flood plains areas are cleared of all encroachments and unauthorised construction, the Court added, giving the society 15 days time to remove the idols and other religious objects in the temple and to place the same in some other temple.

It further directed that if the Petitioner society fails to do so, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) is to ensure that the idols are placed in some other temple, or as may be directed by the Religious Committee.

Extending police assistance to DDA to carry out the task, the bench forewarned the Samiti and its members from causing any impediment or obstacles in the demolition process. 

 

[Read Judgment]



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A wanderer, aspiring yogini and writer. Shreya is a lawyer by profession, journalist by passion. A g...Read more

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