58,000 illegal mosques and temples on govt land in Rajasthan

Last Updated: Wednesday, October 6, 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
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

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 6, 2010 - 23:12

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