58,000 illegal mosques and temples on govt land in Rajasthan
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Last Updated: Wednesday, October 06, 2010, 23:12
Jaipur: There are over 58,000 mosques and temples which have come up illegally on state-owned land and the structures which are causing traffic hazard would be relocated, the state government told the High Court.

In reply to a PIL on illegal temple and mosques built on government land, Advocate General G S Bapna government filed an affidavit before a division bench of the high court, comprising Chief Justice Jagdish Bhalla and Justice M N Bhandari, stating that there are more than 58,000 mosques and temples constructed illegally on government land and are encroachments.

The government has also framed a policy to demolish all those mosques and temples which are on roadside or are causing traffic hazards.

It has also been made clear in the policy that those structures to be demolished will be relocated in the vicinity.

The government has also decided to regularize those temples and mosques that are not causing any traffic hazard, the affidavit said.

It has further been given out in the policy placed before the court that henceforth in the master plan of the town as well as in all upcoming colonies places for worship shall also be earmarked besides woodland and public utilities in order to regulate illegal construction of such places of worship on public land.

According to the PIL, a single-judge bench comprising of Justice M.N.Bhandari on January 6 took a suo motu cognizance of illegally constructed temples and mosques on the road side and public land.

The court had then asked the state authorities to explain that why despite the Supreme Court's verdict in this regard public land is being allowed to be encroached by persons who try to grab the land in the name of temples and mosques and even succeed in getting public trusts for some registered with the Devsthan Department.

According to the petitioner Gauri Shanker Sharma, a public trust was registered in the name of Mandir Shri Hanumaan ji Maharaaj in tehsil Thnagazi of Alwar district before the Assistant Commissioner Devasthan Department but on an objection raised by a few persons it was found that the land of the temple was situated on a government land.

When the court was inclined to reject the writ, the petitioner's counsel prayed for withdrawal of the writ.

The court though dismissed the petition of temple trust took a suo motu cognizance of encroachment on government land in Alwar as well as in other parts of the state.

Justice Bhandari issued a show cause notice to Chief Secretary, Secretary Revenue department, Commissioner Devstahan Department, Director General Police and S.P.of Alwar city.

The court had asked the state government to reply why the Mandir Shir Hanumanji at Thanagazi, Alwar, will not be taken into possession by Devastahan Department and why the government has failed to take care of similar encroachments by way of temples and mosques on government land across the state.

In the detailed reply filed today, the Advocate General told the division bench that the government has already conducted a survey in this regard when a similar matter was being contested in Supreme Court and a detailed affidavit was also filed therein.

"We told the court that since the policy has been recently formed and the jurisdiction of the work to be carried out is the entire state, it will take time to get the desired result. Hence, we prayed for time to address the court's query regarding the result of implementation of the policy", the Advocate General said.


First Published: Wednesday, October 06, 2010, 23:12

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