SC Anil Deshmukh's Bail

Kalkaji Temple: SC Asks Authorities Not To Dispossess Priests From Premises

SC Anil Deshmukh's Bail

The Supreme Court on Monday directed the authorities that the Kalkaji Temple’s redevelopment can be carried out without dispossessing the priests from the premises where they are presently residing.

A vacation bench of Justices AS Bopanna and Vikram Nath asked the authorities to not dispossess the priests and also issued notice to the Centre and other parties on the plea.
The appeal was filed by temple priests challenging the order of the Delhi High Court of June 1 directing priests and unauthorized occupants in Kalkaji Temple to vacate the premises by June 6.

The apex court tagged the matter along with a similar pending petition.

The top court in its order stated, “In the meanwhile, there shall be no impediment for carrying out the re-development as directed by High Court of Delhi through the orders impugned herein but such re-development shall be without dispossessing the petitioners from the premises wherein they are stated to be residing at present.”

During the hearing, the counsel appearing for the temple priests apprised the bench that they have all the revenue records which show they are in possession of such property for years which is also evident from the report of the Sub-Divisional Magistrate.

It is a historical fact that priests of the temple normally used to reside in the vicinity of the temple and this is how it has been in this case also, it was argued, adding that priests are not against the re-development plan of the temple but their Dharamshalas and houses should not be demolished in the name of the redevelopment plan.

On April 27, the apex court had refused to grant status quo on an appeal challenging the High Court’s order which has passed some directions relating to the administration and maintenance of Kalkaji Temple in South Delhi here.

The top court on March 25 refused to interfere with the High Court order directing the removal of encroachments and unauthorised occupants and shopkeepers, who do not have any valid legal rights to occupy the shops, in Kalkaji Temple.

The High Court on September 27 last year had also directed the removal of encroachments and unauthorised occupants and shopkeepers, who do not have any valid legal rights to occupy the shops, in Kalkaji Temple and said the action be taken within five days keeping in view the forthcoming Navratri festival. (ANI)

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