SC bans new shrines on public land

 For, the Supreme Court has ruled that strict action will be taken if its directions are violated.

It is not clear what the quantum of punishment would be, but an interim order of a Bench comprising justices Dalveer Bhandari and Mukundakam Sharma fixed the onus on district magistrates to ensure that no fresh construction of places of worship in public places are allowed throughout the country.

The Bench said district  commissioners will submit a report to the chief secretaries of the respective states on the unauthorised construction of any place of worship and a compilation of the reports will be submitted before the apex court for monitoring.

The court fixed December 7 to hear the reply of the states.The Bench passed the direction after Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium informed the apex court that the Centre and the states had reached a consensus that there shall be no fresh construction of places of worship at public places.

The apex court on July 31 directed the government to ensure that no place of worship is allowed to come up by encroaching public place.

The Bench said the restriction would apply to temples, mosques, churches, gurudwaras and all other places of worship. While issuing notice to all state governments, the court said strict action should be taken if there was any violation of its direction. The court also said the fate of existing places of worship shall be dealt by the respective  governments on a “case to case” basis.

The direction came during the hearing of a petition challenging a Gujarat High Court order of May 2006, which directed municipal corporations  to demolish all illegal structures.

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