Encroachment by religious structures: SC refers cases to state high courts

The Supreme Court on Wednesday sent all cases related to the demolition of religious structures on roads across India to respective state high courts.

Encroachment by religious structures: SC refers cases to state high courts

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday sent all cases related to the demolition of religious structures on roads across India to respective state high courts.

In September 2009, the SC ruled that no unauthorised construction will be permitted in the name of gods and religion on public streets, public parks or places.

Later in 2016, the top court had reproached states for failing to submit action plan on the removal of religious structures as illegal encroachment public places. The SC has slammed the states calling such encroachment 'insult to Gods.'

The bench had then observed that orders are not meant to be put in cold storage. Failure to comply orders will result in punitive action, the top court had warned.

In November 2017, the top court issues notice to 4 states – Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand and Telangana – for several places of worship, shrines encroaching on public property.

Several state courts had later ordered the removal of religious encroachments on public places.

Last year, the Allahabad High Court has directed the Uttar Pradesh government to remove or shift religious structures "in any form" which encroach on public roads including sideways. It asked the state government to ensure that no religious structure in any form, whatsoever, shall be allowed or permitted to be raised on public roads including highways, streets, pathways and lanes and warned that any violation will be considered as criminal contempt by administration and police officials.

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