SC orders status quo on ancient temple in Bengaluru

SC orders status quo over Bengaluru's Nagarakallu Munneshwara Swamy Temple

SC Orders status quo on demolition of Nagarakallu Munneshwar Swamy Temple, in front of BSNL Dy General Manager, South East office, Satya Sai Circle 36th Cross, 9th main, 4th Block Jayanagar in Bengaluru on Wednesday, August 12, 2020. Credit: DH Photo/S K Dinesh

The Supreme Court has ordered status quo on Nagarakallu Munneshwara Swamy Temple, situated at Jayanagar, Bengaluru. The temple established since year 1854 was ordered to be demolished by the Karnataka High Court for allegedly obstructing passage of pedestrians.

A bench of Justices U U Lalit and Vineet Saran ordered that the status quo as on today with regard to the structure in question, shall be maintained by the parties.

The court passed its order on Tuesday after hearing senior advocates Mukul Rohatgi and Devadatt Kamat, along with advocates Saurabh Mishra, Sandeep Patil and Nishanth Patil on behalf of a group of 51 devotees led by Lalitha Sagiraju.

The petitioners contended their fundamental right to practice religion was affected with the HC's order which also ignored the fact that the temple is ancient and has been present at the spot since 1854. 

The court directed for making the state government a party to the petition within three days. It also issued notice to the BBMP seeking its response on September 14 to the plea questioning validity of the High Court's order of July 14.

During the hearing, the court was informed about a note-sheet denoting the status of the temple to be ancient. Even while the matter was pending consideration by the State, a PIL was filed seeking demolition of the structure, without impleading the State as a party, the petitioners said.