Updated May 29th, 2024 at 23:18 IST

Lord Shiva Doesn't Need Anyone's Protection: HC on Plea Against Demolition of Unauthorised Temple

The court made the observations while refusing to set aside an order for demolition of the Pracheen Shiv Mandir situated at Geeta Colony close to flood plains.

Reported by: Digital Desk
The Delhi High Court has refused to intervene against a demolition order targeting a temple constructed in an unauthorised manner. | Image:Unsplash/ Representative
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New Delhi: The Delhi High Court, on Wednesday, rejected a petition made by the Pracheen Shiv Mandir Avam Akhada Samiti challenging an order passed by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) calling for the the removal of a temple — the Pracheen Shiv Mandir situated at Geeta Colony — constucted in an unauthorised manner on the Yamuna floodplains. Observing that Lord Shiva does not need anyone's protecion, the court said that the deity would likely be much happier if the Yamuna river bed and flood plains are cleared of all encroachments.  

"The half-hearted plea by the counsel for the petitioner 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 subserve the vested interest of its members," Justice Dharmesh Sharma said.

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The high court further said, "It goes without saying that Lord Shiva does not need our protection; rather, we, the people, seek his protection and blessings. 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 petitioner claimed that the temple acts as a hub of spiritual activities, drawing around 300 to 400 devotees regularly.

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The plea claimed the petitioner society was registered in 2018 with the aim of upholding transparency, accountability and responsible management of the temple's assets.

The court said the land in dispute is meant for larger public interest and the petitioner society cannot claim any vested rights to continue to occupy and use it.

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It said the land falls under Zonal Development Plan for Zone-'O' as approved by the Ministry of Urban Development.

The Master Plan Delhi, 2021, also envisages rejuvenation of the Yamuna through a number of measures including ensuring adequate flow of river by releasing water by riparian states, refurbishing trunk sewers, treating the drains, sewering unsewered areas, treating industrial effluent, recycling of treated effluent and removal of coliforms at Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) besides creating ecological balance by planting trees, it noted.

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The court said the petitioner society has miserably failed to show any documents with regard to its title, right or interest over the land and there is no proof of the temple having any historical significance.

"Mere fact that prayers are offered at the temple every day and for that matter there are special events on certain festive occasions does not convert the temple in question to a place of public significance," it said.

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It granted the society 15 days to remove the idols and other religious objects in the temple and shift them to some other shrine. If they fail to do so, the Delhi Development Authority is directed to ensure that the idols are placed in some other temple, the court said.

"DDA shall be at liberty to carry out demolition of the unauthorised construction and the petitioner society and its members shall not cause any impediment or obstacles in such a demolition process. The local police and the administration shall render full assistance in the said process in order to maintain law and order," the court said.

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With inputs from PTI. 

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Published May 29th, 2024 at 23:13 IST