THE PUNJAB and Haryana High Court has refused to entertain a petition moved by the trust of Gujarat-based controversial self-styled godman Asaram seeking directions to Haryana government to grant it Change of Land Use (CLU) permission for its ashram’s agricultural land in Panipat.
Asaram is facing trial for alleged sexual exploitation of his female followers in Jodhpur court. Arrested by Jodhpur police in August 2013, he had been in jail since and the Supreme Court had on October 24 rejected his bail plea moved on health grounds.
However, granting liberty to Sant Shri Asa Ram Jee Ashram Trust, Delhi, to approach the Additional Chief Secretary of the state Town and Country Planning department, the division bench headed by Justice AK Mittal last week said it was the prerogative of the state government whether or not to grant Change of Land Use to the applicant.
The petitioner Trust had informed that it had purchased land measuring seven and half acres at Dadhola village in Panipat district in 1996 which is being used for religious and agricultural purpose.
It was submitted that the Trust constructed a temple shed with the help of small donations obtained from the followers, a Shiv Temple in its precincts, a water tank, one room of the Pujari of the temple as a basic amenity.
The construction is only there in half acre of land and the remaining seven acres of land is being used for agricultural purpose.