New Delhi [India], November 19 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Thursday granted an extension of time till May 31, 2021, to the Uttarakhand government to remove four illegal religious structures in areas of Haridwar, that encroach public land.
A Bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan allowed the plea of the Uttarakhand Government seeking an extension of time till May 31, 2021.
The state said it was asking for an extension of time only in view of the Kumbh Mela which is scheduled to be held in January next year.
"We are of the view that the state should be permitted to remove the illegal structures by May 2021," the Bench said.
The Bench was also informed that out of 795 only five structures are left to be demolished, but one structure-property dispute is going on. The Court then asked the government to demolish four remaining illegal religious structures in Haridwar.
Intervenor Akhil Bhartiya Akhara Parishad's counsel told the court that structures should not be demolished, however, the Bench rejected this request.
The Uttarakhand High Court has also been hearing a suo motu Public Interest Litigation (PIL) concerning the removal of all illegal religious structures built on public land.
The High Court had taken suo motu cognizance of the issue after a Supreme Court's order. The state government had informed the High Court that while almost all religious structures built on public land have been removed in districts like Dehradun, Nainital, and Udham Singh Nagar, it will take time to clear all such structures in Haridwar as many of these are used to host Kumbh Mela which is scheduled for the next year.
The apex court had directed all states to demolish illegal religious structures, saying in the name of gods and religion, no unauthorized construction can be allowed on streets, parks and other public places.
The top court had sent all cases related to the demolition of religious structures on public land across India to respective state high courts. (ANI)