No statues in public places: SC to states

No statues in public places: SC to states

The Supreme Court on Friday ordered all states and Union Territories not to give permission for installation of any statue or structure in a public place or road, saying that citizens’ right to move freely must not be obstructed in any manner.

A bench of Justices R M Lodha and S J Mukhopadhaya observed that the government should act in public interest by using money on ameliorating the plight of poor and not showcasing achievements by putting obstruction on roads.

“Such a practice must be done away with. Public road is nobody’s property. Each and every citizen has a right to move freely on roads. Their right cannot be taken away by putting statues, temples, mosques and churches,” the bench said.

The apex court passed an order in September 2009 saying, “Henceforth no unauthorised construction shall be carried out or permitted in the name of temple, church, mosque or gurudwara on public streets, public parks or other public places. With respect to the unauthorised construction of religious nature, which has already taken place, the state governments and the Union Territories shall review the same on case to case basis and take appropriate steps as expeditiously as possible.”

Hearing a plea against erection of a statue of political leader Sundaran Nadar at Neyyattinkara, Thiruvananthapuram, in the middle of the National Highway, the court said that the status quo must be maintained at the place and ordered that chief secretaries of all states and Union territories would ensure that no structure was made on public place except street lights and traffic signals.

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