OF the 1,743 illegal religious structures across Maharashtra, the state government complying with the Bombay HC orders has demolished a mere 69, less than 3 per cent of the lot. The numbers did not go down well with Justices A S Oka and CV Bhadang, who chided the state for not keeping up to its submissions.
When Government Pleader Abhinandan Vagyani tried to pacify them citing reasons, the bench pointed to 881 such unlawful shrines that had come up after a GR of November, 2015. The HC said, “Only 28 have been demolished. In two months, it is not even 10 per cent of the total structures.”
Earlier, Vagyani informed that after the HC order, when the GR was passed in November, 2015, the government sought to carry out demolition post Diwali. For the government, given that Diwali vacations were in November, it has merely been a month for implementation of the order.
In its affidavit, the government has set a time frame of six months to carry out the demolition drive across Maharashtra. There is time till May, 2016 for compliance. But the HC wants to monitor the drive and asked Vagyani about the status in February again. “Or else we will take a serious view,” said the court. The state government assured the court that all illegal religious shrines that came up after the cut-off date of September 29, 2009 will be demolished.
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